Intel’s Z series of Atom processors use less power than the Intel Atom N270/N280 chips currently found in most netbooks. And that means the handful of mini-laptops using a Z520 or similar processor can get longer run time with the same battery. But these machines also feel much more sluggish when performing CPU-intensive tasks like playing Flash video, or even surfing the web with multiple browser tabs open.
So I didn’t shed any tears today when I read a report in DigiTimes indicating that Intel plans to stop taking orders from netbook makers for Z-series Intel Atom processors.
It’ll be a little while before we see the processor phased out entirely. Acer, Asus, and MSI apparently have outstanding orders waiting to be filled, so you’ll probably keep seeing netbooks with these processors hitting the streets over the next few months. And Intel hasn’t said it’s killing off the Atom Z line altogether. Rather, it’ll most likely be relegated to MIDs, which are touchscreen-based mobile internet devices, instead of netbooks.
Update: An Intel spokesperson writes in to say that the DigiTimes report is incorrect, and that Intel is continuing to fill orders for the Z-series Atom processors.