Intel may allow 12.1 inch netbooks with launch of Atom N550

Intel is due to launch a follow-up to their current Atom netbook processors in the second half of 2010. Along with the new dual-core Atom N550, DigiTimes reports that Intel will be lifting the current 10.2 inch screen size restriction in favor of a larger, 12.1 inch maximum size. Other required specifications include a base of 1GB DDR memory and a 32GB SSD or 250GB traditional hard drive.

“Netbook” has been a cloudy, marketing term since its inception. Recently, it has been defined by the use of an Atom processor, small screen sizes and a sub-$300 price point. Now that the dictated screen sizes are encroaching on the realm of regular notebooks, the distinction is about to become even less clear, especially if prices also increase.

Styling and build quality have become the only defining factors in the all but commoditized category. Intel is surely looking to alternate form factors as a way to increase interest and keep the netbook segment from stagnating. Ars Technica also speculates that the Pine Trail + Broadcom CrystalHD combo will soon allow 1080p video playback on netbooks, and this capability makes a good argument for larger screens. The main draw of netbooks has always been their affordable price.

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WICKO said,
Well yeah, thats why I said I'd video out to my TV. I could use the netbook as a travelling media center.
AFAIK there are a bunch with ION (hw acceleration) and HDMI (audio and video out).

What's the point. Just get a 13inc laptop, that way you can choose to have a Core 2 Duo and a Dedi Graphics card and a proper size hard drive. For better battery life get a larger battery and set it on power save.

saasn said,
What's the point. Just get a 13inc laptop, that way you can choose to have a Core 2 Duo and a Dedi Graphics card and a proper size hard drive. For better battery life get a larger battery and set it on power save.

That adds weight and heat. Netbooks are that small light things you take everywhere that you don't have to think twice about carring with you.

GP007 said,

That adds weight and heat. Netbooks are that small light things you take everywhere that you don't have to think twice about carring with you.

So your calling a 13inc laptop heavy, what are you a weakling or something. I've got a 13inc laptop and it's not heavy at all it's quite light. If you put a Core 2 Duo on Power save it can run quite cool and have a pretty good battery life.

saasn said,
So your calling a 13inc laptop heavy, what are you a weakling or something. I've got a 13inc laptop and it's not heavy at all it's quite light.
But a smaller laptop is both ... smaller ... and lighter than a bigger one. It's kinda by definition.

People just have different 'values' for what their ideal is.

I always thought of Netbooks as SFF laptops. If you start making them bigger they're not netbooks, they're laptops!

Exactlly! I don't want some damned 12.1" screen. A 10" screen with a higher resolution might be nice, though, like maybe 1280x720?

Darrian said,
Exactlly! I don't want some damned 12.1" screen. A 10" screen with a higher resolution might be nice, though, like maybe 1280x720?

There's only so much a lines a 10" can do before it starts to get silly. Do you know what 1920x1080 would look on a 10" screen? I hope you have great eyesight cuz I bet the text would be pretty small.

1024x600 is what my daughter's netbook is at now, it wouldn't be that much larger a resolution. Also, there is a ton of wasted space with padding around the screen, they could increase the size of the display and shrink the border considerably.

I personally prefer 12.1in sizes. It's small enough to bring anywhere, yet big enough to have the power I want and not feel cramped.

1080p with some useless stereo low-powered sound card is the same as having a fork with the lack of a knife to cut the meat.
Ps: I know this is not the best analogy, but I'm too tired right now.

Luis Mazza said,
1080p with some useless stereo low-powered sound card is the same as having a fork with the lack of a knife to cut the meat.
Ps: I know this is not the best analogy, but I'm too tired right now.

Pffftt, who needs a knife to eat meat? Just go at it old school and use your hands!

koppit said,
How in the hell does this make sense? What about the Asus 1201N? It comes complete with an Atom.

It is not dual-core N550

ilev said,

It is not dual-core N550

Re-read the article - it is not directly N550 related, as that is a new processor. The 1201N has a dual core N330.

koppit said,

Re-read the article - it is not directly N550 related, as that is a new processor. The 1201N has a dual core N330.

Intel plans to launch a dual-core Atom processor, the Atom N550, in the second half of 2010, and will also lift restrictions on the panel sizes of netbooks using the CPU, meaning vendors will be allowed to bring out 11.6-inch and 12.1-inch models, according to sources from notebook players.

Microsoft hasn't lifted the restrictions of installing Win7 (not starter edition) on Netbooks with screen size greater the 10.1".

Edited by ilev, May 20 2010, 5:07am :

ilev said,

Microsoft hasn't lifted the restrictions of installing Win7 (not starter edition) on Netbooks with screen size greater the 10.1".

The 1201 comes with Win7 Home Premium.... unless you mean the opposite of what you wrote?

Edited by koppit, May 22 2010, 4:57am :

Ok, so if this is the case, can we now retroactively call the 12" iBooks and PowerBooks netbooks? Even though they didn't use Atom processors, they fit the specs in basically every other respect.

roadwarrior said,
Ok, so if this is the case, can we now retroactively call the 12" iBooks and PowerBooks netbooks? Even though they didn't use Atom processors, they fit the specs in basically every other respect.

99.9995% of the Apple zealots, er users, who own said devices would rather cut their hands off before calling their overpriced systems a "netbook." Why? It would lower the value of their device and demean it, of course (in their eyes).

Ars Technica also speculates that the Pine Trail + Broadcom CrystalHD combo will soon allow 1080p video playback on netbooks, and this capability makes a good argument for larger screens.

The ASUS 1201N can play 1080p fine and has HDMI out for playback on larger screens.

Where is the Neowin quality?

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