Intel is set to launch the Atom N550 dual core processor for netbooks and budget thin and light laptops soon. But while the dual core 1.5GHz chip should offer better overall performance than the single Core Atom chips used in most netbooks today, DigiTimes reports it will also cost $11 to $22 more than current Atom chips. And that could drive up the cost of netbooks enough to blur the lines between machines with Atom chips and those with low cost CULV processors.
So what’s Intel to do? If DigiTimes is correct, the company will kill off its budget Celeron line of Ultra Low Voltage processors. In other words, yes, dual core Atom powered netbooks will cost more than today’s netbooks — but they won’t be about the same price as a notebook with a CULV chipset because in a few months you probably won’t be able to find CULV-powered notebooks for $400 anymore.
DigiTimes goes on to suggest that Acer and Asus are putting off developing new models with Atom N550 chips until mid-August. That will give the companies time to clear out some older entry-level models. We’ve already heard that both companies do plan to release netbooks with Atom N550 chips. But we haven’t seen official release dates for the Acer Aspire One D255 or Asus Eee PC 1015N.