We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Intel Classmate netbooks get Atom processor

Redesigned Convertible Classmate tablet coming

Intel is updating its Classmate PC netbook models, adding new processors and shrinking the devices to make them sleeker and easier to carry.

The chip maker's Convertible Classmate design, which includes 10.1-inch touchscreen that can swivel to turn the netbook into a tablet PC, is undergoing a complete overhaul, said Agnes Kwan, an Intel spokeswoman. The newer model will be upgraded with faster Atom processors and will be announced in the first half of this year, Kwan said.

New Atom processors are also being added to the older Classmate clamshell design, which does not include a touchscreen. The company announced two new Atom processors in December, the N450 processor running at 1.66GHz, and the N470 running at 1.83GHz.

The new Atom processors are 60 percent smaller than their predecessors, and consume 20 percent less power. The chip improvements could make future Convertible Classmate netbooks smaller while giving them more battery life. Intel wants to make the netbooks easier to carry, but also wants to keep the devices rugged so they don't easily break, Kwan said.

Intel is adding more wireless connectivity options to both the netbook designs, including 3G mobile broadband and WiMax capabilities, Kwan said. The company is also investigating larger screen sizes for the Convertible Classmate netbooks, she said.

Intel announced the Classmate PC in 2007 as part of an effort to deliver laptops under US$400 to school children in developing countries. At the time Classmate PCs competed with One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop for market share. Intel later expanded Classmate's role as a reference design for PC makers in developing countries to make low-cost PCs.

The last redesign of the Classmate was in September 2008, when the chip maker launched the Convertible Classmate. The addition of new chips should give a new level of graphics and application performance to the Classmate devices. The new Atom chips come with integrated graphics processors that can handle 720p high-definition graphics, according to Intel. An integrated memory controller will help the processor communicate faster with system components, leading to faster application performance.

Intel on Monday also said that Argentina would buy 250,000 Intel-powered Classmate netbooks with Pineview processors beginning later this year. The units will be distributed in 1,500 schools in 24 states and will be delivered by United Nations. The company also said Brazil and Turkey had purchased Classmate PCs.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

LED vs Halogen: Why now could be the right time to invest in LED bulbs

IDG UK Sites

Christmas' best ads: See great festive spots studios have created to promote themselves and clients

IDG UK Sites

Stop running out of cellular data on your iPhone, see which apps use the most data