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Wednesday, 10 June 2009 12:34

Intel wants to keep netbooks under 10.2 inches

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Big enough for the great unwashed


Intel is
still sticking to its Atom restrictions, and doesn't want vendors to design netbooks with screens larger than 10 inches. However, Intel doesn't think these restrictions are hurting netbook development, but rather pointing it in a certain direction, that of small, cheap products.

"They are not so much constraints. We are trying to frame the category that we're trying to encourage," said Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel's mobility group.

Obviously Intel is not thrilled about the prospect of 11.6-inch or 13.3-inch Atom based systems chipping away at its CULV market share, and it wants bigger screens to stay reserved for bigger CPUs.

"If you use a netbook with a bigger screen, people expect a standard notebook. The responsive of the system might be disappointing," says Eden, and he's right. Uninformed consumers might easily be suckered into getting a cheap Atom-based ultraportable, which will end up even slower than a regular netbook.

Although Intel isn't thrilled about such designs, such as Dell's Mini 12, Acer's Aspire One 751 or MSI's X320, vendors keep pushing the envelope and coming up with larger designs. One way of getting around Intel's restrictions is to go around Intel itself, and use VIA's Nano or AMD's Neo CPUs, but few manufacturers are choosing this option.

At the moment it seems Intel won't change its strategy with Pine Trail, as it will also be reserved for small netbooks, but it will offer better power efficiency, and more performance in a smaller package, allowing vendors to design significantly smaller, sleeker products.

More here.

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