Intel introduced a line of new low power chips for netbooks, tablets, and smartphones this morning. But one of the more interesting things Intel launched wasn’t a chip, but a reference design for creating ultrathin netbooks that use passive cooling instead of noisy fans.

Intel’s new Canoe Lake platform would let PC makers design netbooks as thin as 14mm (about 0.55 inches), and Intel had a demo unit on-hand at its news conference in Taipei today.

This isn’t a real product that’s ready to ship. But it is a reference design that we’ll hopefully see other companies use soon. The folks at Engadget got a chance to spend a few moments with the concept device, and they found that it supports an Intel Atom Pine Trail processor and Intel GMA 3150 graphics. Intel says it will support 720p HD video playback.

The netbook is definitely one of the thinnest laptops I’ve ever seen. I have to wonder what kind of battery life it will get, since there’s hardly room for a high capacity battery — unless the reason for the gap between the display and keyboard is that it provides space for a chunky battery which would ruin the netbooks otherwise super-slim aesthetic?

You can find more hands-on photos at Engadget. You can also find some more photos from the folks at Intel on the company’s Flickr page for Computex 2010.

Update: Sascha from Netbook News spotted another prototype based on the Canoe Lake reference design, and this model didn’t have any gap between the keyboard and display.

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2 replies on “Closer look at Intel’s Canoe Lake ultrathin netbook concept”

  1. When netbooks die another device offering similar capabilities will take its place. I really don’t understand why anyone should get upset at these reports.

  2. Innovations are coming, so the rumors regarding Netbooks going to die will soon fade away.

    I really get angry on the analysts when they come up with assumptions as such. I mean, netbooks are here for a while and the ratings are going to go down gradually. It happens for all devices once its saturated.

    I bet that this device is going to be lite and will have low to now noise.

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