There’s no doubt that netbooks have been in the limelight ever since their inception and it was only a matter of time before they started to offer more power with a dual-core CPU. According to Intel’s recent announcement of the new Intel Atom N550, sales from Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI, Toshiba and others have already begun. This chip is specifically designed for netbooks to offer more power and good battery backup in the same form factor and weight.

One of the earlier models that came with a dual core Atom CPU was the Asus 1201N, but it was powered by an Intel Atom N330, clocked at 1.6GHz, which was rather common to nettops, a mini desktop PC with netbook hardware in it. Now that there’s a dual-core chip for netbooks, it’s going to be a different ball game. Let’s take a look at some of the upcoming models from various manufacturers.

Asus

  • 1018P-BLK134S (Hair Line Thin and Light)
  • Processor: Intel Atom N550 (Dual-core, 1.5 GHz, 1 MB cache)
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR3 (1333)
  • Hard drive: 320 GB
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 3150
  • Screen: 10-inch
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi N, Gigabit Ethernet and Blueooth
  • Operating system: Windows 7 Starter
  • Price: 26,999 (MRP)

  • VX-BLK021M (Lamborghini)
  • Processor: Intel Atom D525 (Dual-core, 1.83 GHz, 1 MB cache)
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR3 (1066)
  • Hard drive: 320 GB
  • Graphics: Nvidia Ion2 (512MB)
  • Screen: 12-inch
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi N, Gigabit Ethernet and Blueooth
  • Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Price: 42,999 (MRP)

While there are other dual-core Asus netbook models selling abroad, the 1018P-BLK134S and the VX-BLK021M are soon to be launched in India. The 1018P looks quite promising especially with regard to the price-performance ratio. The Lamborghini might seem a bit over the top, but it features Nvidia’s Ion2, a more powerful CPU and Windows Home Premium, so we shall not jump to conclusions, while we await our test units to arrive.

  • HP Mini 5103
  • Processor: Intel Atom N550 (Dual-core, 1.83 GHz, 1 MB cache)
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Hard drive: 320 GB
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 3150
  • Screen: 10-inch
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi N, Gigabit Ethernet and Blueooth
  • Operating system: TBA
  • Price: TBA


Acer Aspire One D255

News reports suggest that the upcoming Aspire One netbooks shall feature the latest chip with similar hardware, but there is no confirmation as to when the netbooks with arrive in India and how they will be priced. Nevertheless, the D255 has already hit the US market. Powered by the N550, it features a 10.1-inch screen, 1 GB DDR3 RAM, a 250 GB hard drive and Windows 7 Starter.

If you notice on the manufacturer’s websites, netbooks are still not updated with the latest dual-core Atom processor and that they feature the N450, N455 and N475 single-core chips. While there’s no word from Dell, HP and Acer as to when the dual-core newbies will arrive, it’s certain that they’ll be much more powerful than the single-core variants, despite the fact that the clock speed of the single-core chips are higher the new N550 chips.

  • Lenovo S10-3
  • Processor: Intel Atom N550 (Dual-core, 1.83 GHz, 1 MB cache)
  • RAM: 1 GB DDR3
  • Hard drive: 250 GB
  • Screen: 10-inch
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi N, Gigabit Ethernet and Blueooth
  • Operating system: Windows 7 Starter
  • Price: TBA

Future
Although there are buyers who go with the ‘a netbook is a netbook’ mind set, the fact is that these devices are becoming more powerful and functional. Demanding applications, seamless HD-movie playback, games, office applications and full-throttle connectivity on the go, are the biggest assets that these devices offer. The only thing missing is an optical drive. However, all of this can be achieved at an affordable price and there’s no need to lug a full-fledged heavy laptop to stay connected and get your office work done. All-in-all, it’s clearly a new beginning for the netbook segment, and a good one at that.

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