Intel has officially introduced a new low power Atom N435 processor for budget netbooks. Intel’s announcement comes a few days after we started seeing mini-laptops with the chip including the Asus Eee PC X101 $200 netbook and a new version of the Lenovo IdeaPad S100. PC World reports that Acer will also offer a netbook with the new chip soon.
The Intel Atom N435 is a 1.33 GHz single core chip with 512K of cache and an estimated TDP of about 5W.. As expected, it’s basically the newest and slowest member of the Intel Atom Pine Trail family. The next step up the ladder are the 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 and N455 chips which were introduced last year and which have TDP’s of 5.5W and 6.5W respectively.
Intel is making an interesting move by launching a new Pine Trail chip this summer. The company is pushing its new Oak Trail platform for tablets and will start shipping next-generation Cedar Trail chips for netbooks and notebooks soon. So why launch a new chip using last year’s tech and offering less performance?
In a word: price. The Atom N435 is a budget chip which makes dirt cheap netbooks like the Eee PC X101 possible. You also don’t need a blazing fast processor to offer decent performance with MeeGo Linux, an operating system optimized for Atom and other low power chips. I also suspect that Windows 7 will run reasonably well on the 1.33 GHz processor… I just wouldn’t expect good results with HD video playback.