Some of the first netbooks with Intel Atom Cedar Trail processors are now available for pre-order. While Cedar Trail chips won’t offer huge performance gains over earlier Atom processors, there are a few advantages.
The Intel Atom N2600 and N2800 processors, for instance, have more powerful graphics processors than their predecessors and can handle 1080p HD video playback. Many of the netbooks and nettops with these new chips will have HDMI output.
Some Cedar Trail machines will also feature Intel’s WiDi wireless display technology.
These are still first and foremost low-power, low-price chips so you’ll find them in low-cost laptops which place a heavier emphasis on battery life than bleeding-edge performance. Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, MSI, and a handful of other companies are expected to release Cedar Trail netbooks in the coming months. But here are some of the first models available for pre-order in the US:
- Acer Aspire One AOD270 w/1.6 GHz Atom N2600, 320GB HDD, 6 cell battery for $285 – Amazon
- Asus Eee PC X101CH w/Atom N2600, 320GB HDD, 3 cell battery for $269 – ExcaliberPC
- Asus Eee PC 1025C w/Atom N2600, 320GB HDD, 6 cell battery for $299 – ExcaliberPC
Netbook sales declined a little bit from 2010 to 2011, but Intel still sees a future for this class of Atom processor. The company is targeting niche markets including healthcare, point-of-sales systems, digital signage, and other areas where low power chips may be useful.
Intel is also pushing its new even-lower-power Medfield processors for use in smartphones and tablets.