Blog posts of '2009' 'December'

7 Facts About the New Intel Atom Netbooks and Nettops Chips - 23 December 2009
  1. Nettops and Netbooks with New Atom CPU and platform can handle Multimedia apps: Sure, you won't be compositing images into Hollywood movies like James Cameron's Avatar on a nettop, but the new Atom D510, D410, and N450 processors are capable of quickly getting the red eye out of photos and helping you airbrush out that distracting trash can in your latest Ansel Adams-style snapshot. PhotoShop CS4 is well within Atom N450 and D410's specs.
  2. The same architecture is used in both nettops and netbooks: All three of the new Atom processors work with the new Intel NM510 Express chipset, so applications that work on the portable netbook will work on the sedentary nettops, as will drivers for any of your hardware, or even apps that you develop in-house for your business.
  3. Power savings is substantial: Exclusive of technologies like networking and built-in displays, the new Pine Trail architecture uses less than 20W of power.
  4. These systems will be quiet: In addition to the savings on your power bill, lower TDP (Thermal Design Power) mean that new nettops and netbooks using Pine Trail won't need fans to cool themselves, so therefore they will be inherently quieter, a boon if you're listening to music or watching a video.
  5. This platform is (still) Web-oriented: Netbooks and nettops are still oriented to consuming content on the Internet. You don't need a quad-core processor to surf the 'Net and watch videos on YouTube.
  6. You'll see richer Websites than on any smartphone: Though smartphones are your "always on" Internet link, you can't currently view websites with heavy Flash content on your iPhone or Android phone (yet). A MID or netbook with Atom N450 will be able to full support Adobe Flash.
  7. They could be your primary computer: The first generation of netbooks was strictly your "third" or "fourth" PC in the house. They were simply too small and slow to keep up with a complicated digital life. Back then, you needed a Core 2 Duo or Athlon X2 powered PC to do most of the things you do on a PC, unless you wanted to tear your hair out waiting for everything to finish processing. The newest Atom processor and platform is powerful enough to do everything on the Web and most general tasks. Anything "harder" like 3D gaming or video editing, and you'll still need to go to a higher-powered desktop or notebook, but you can certainly live your virtual life on Facebook, Twitter your latest thoughts, and surf to your heart's content all at the same time on any new Atom powered netbook or nettop without too much effort.
 Joel Santo Domingo
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Latest Asus Netbook on the horizon - 01 December 2009
(Credit: Asus)

Hot on the heels of the well-regarded HP Mini 311, Asus has moved the Netbook bar forward by taking a 12-inch Netbook chassis and including both Nvidia's Ion graphics and a dual-core version of Intel's Atom processor (called the Atom 330). We've previously seen dual-core Atoms only in a handful of Nettop desktops, because of heat issues, and it's unlikely we'd see one in anything smaller than a 12-inch laptop body.

While still small, the 1201N fits in a full-size keyboard and a 250GB hard drive (plus access to 500GB of online storage space). The system comes with Windows 7 Starter and 2GB of RAM. Asus claims the 6-cell battery should last up to five hours, similar to what we've seen in other Eee PC models.

In a brief hands-on demo, we noted that the Asus Eee PC 1201N looks very similar to the current Eee PC line, including the popular 1005HA, with a black glossy finish and textured touch pad.

Combined with a 1,366x768 HD display, the Nvidia Ion GPU makes for a great video watching experience, once you download the new Flash 10.1 beta, which allows the Ion to accelerate streaming Flash video.

It's available later this year in the US, the Eee PC 1201N we have no confirmed release date here but it should be available in Ireland in Spring 2010.

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