Netbooks Based On Intel's New Chips Start To Surface

Intel on Monday announced the new Atom processors and NM10 Express chipset that make up Pine Trail, and the chip giant has confirmed 80 design wins from OEMs. The three Atom processors, collectively known as Pineview, feature the Lincroft System-on-Chip (SoC) architecture and clock in at 1.66 GHz.

Fujitsu was among the first of the PC makers to confirm a netbook powered by one of Intel's new Atoms. Fujitsu's Lifebook MH380 Mini-Notebook uses Intel's N450 Atom chip along with the NM10 chipset, and according to Fujitsu comes with Microsoft's Windows 7 Starter Edition, a 250-GB hard drive, 1 GB of system memory and built-in support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Fujitsu will begin offering the new Lifebook in January starting at $449.

Dell on Monday also announced a refresh of its Mini 10 netbook with not only Intel's N450 but also Intel's Graphics Media Accelerator 3150. The form factor is also a little different: The 6-cell battery no longer sticks out from the back of the netbook and is tucked further into the base, according to Dell. Dell will begin shipping the new Mini 10s in January, and customers can continue to choose from Windows XP Home, Windows 7 Starter Edition and Ubuntu Linux. The Windows versions are priced starting at $399, and the Ubuntu version for $299.

HP has not yet confirmed its new Pineview Atom netbooks, but a Tuesday report on Techtree points out that a new HP Mini 210 is listed on and other sites. According to the listing, the refreshed HP Mini 210 will include the new Intel chip plus 1 GB of memory, 160 GB of storage (or 250 GB of HDD space), and also Intel's Graphics Media Accelerator 3150, plus built-in Webcam, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and other features.

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Intel's Pine Trail platform arrives just as worldwide PC shipments are starting to rebound. Netbooks themselves have been the fastest growing PC category throughout the year, with researcher IDC tracking netbook shipments as up 37 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter.

At the recent Raymond James IT Supply Chain conference in New York, tech executives from distributors, PC makers and virtualization vendors alike were optimistic about PC sales heading into 2010. IDC Senior Vice President and Chief Research Officer John Gantz predicted a solid year for PCs, with IDC tracking 300 million PCs to ship in 2010. About 40 million of those, Gantz said, will be netbooks.