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On 11/24/2009 3:36 PM, Tom Metro wrote:
> What's new in the world of netbooks? If you've looked through the latest
> models, any stand-out offerings? Which model do you own and like, or
> have on your wishlist, and why?
> Didn't Intel release a dual-core version of the Atom CPU? Shouldn't
> there be a new crop of netbooks using it by now?

Yes, there are dual-core Atoms (which are really just two CPU die in one 
package) but so far they have only shown up in nettops and miniITX 
motherboards, not in netbooks.

> I see Nokia has a model with a built-in 3G modem, but it seems to be
> tied to AT&T service.

There are others with built-in 3G, such as the version of the Aspire One 
that Radio Shack sells (also tied to AT&T) and the version of the HP 
Mini available from Verizon Wireless. Nothing really new there.

The nVidia ION platform was aupposed to be the big new thing in netbooks 
this season, but it has barely poked its head up so far. (The only one I 
know of that you can actually buy so far is the HP Mini 311.) The other 
big trend is bigger systems with 11-12" displays that straddle the line 
between netbook and notebook, though Microsoft is doing its best to 
squash that category by limiting the cheap Starter Edition of Windows 7 
to systems with a 10" screen or smaller. (So you can have XP with a 12" 
screen, but then you're limited to 1GB RAM and a 160GB hard disk, or you 
can have Win7 with more RAM and disk space but only a 10" screen. Or you 
can pay more for a fancier version of Windows, or run Linux instead.)

ASUS just announced a system that combines ION with a dual-core Atom and 
a 12" screen:  I expect to 
see other similar systems soon.

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