Intel introduced a new Canoe Lake reference design for ultrathin netbooks earlier this week. And when I say ultrathin, I’m not kidding. Intel says that Canoe Lake systems can be as thin as 14mm, or about 0.55 inches. That’s because the low power chipset doesn’t generate a ton of heat and PC makers can use passive cooling instead of a noisy (and bulky) fan.

I’ve seen a lot of photos of the Canoe Lake reference design. But up until this morning I hadn’t seen anyone actually using the system to see how it performs. Fortunately Sascha from Netbook News stepped up to the plate with a short video which you can check out below.

Here’s the nutshell version: The computer seems pretty zippy and responsive even with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720. It has a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N500 dual core processor. The demo system is running Windows 7 Ultimate with 2GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive, and Sascha says it’s the fastest netbook he’s ever used. And if there’s anyone out there who has used more netbooks than me, it just might be Sascha.

Devices based on the Canoe Lake reference design are expected to sell for under $600.

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6 replies on “Intel’s Canoe Lake ultrathin netbook performance put to the test”

  1. Unfortunately, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year on our “behalf” to make us as vulnerable and susceptible as possible to marketing pressure, whereas almost nothing is being spent on our behalf to make us more emotionally mature or more rational consumers. Thus, it’s understandable that a picture and a video of such a device is met with analysis like “want” and “FTW” in comment sections across the Internet. If you’ve only seen a cosmetic presentation and a cursory spec sheet, you’re probably not as ready to buy as you are ready to have some well-rehearsed, out-of-control emotional response. For example, important power-related information such as battery technology, capacity, life, and user replaceability are probably very important pre-purchase considerations as well, not to mention operating system and driver support. In fact, this is a “reference system” which means that you CAN’T buy it. The takeaway from this demonstration should be that there is finally innovation in the netbook sector again. It’s been this lack of innovation which has in all likelihood stagnated the growth of sales in the netbook sector and made the casual user of technology intrigued by “tablets” as the next big thing, but a new crop of devices similar to this one could reinvigorate this sales growth. For me, no self-proclaimed netbook has been a device that I’ve wanted to buy or would use if it was given to me (even when devices are free, my time isn’t). This device represents a change from that, and if this is where netbooks are headed then I’ll contribute to the growth in sales myself.

  2. That seems like wonderfull machine, awesome design, good performance and under 600 dollars? The only way to screw up would be if it runs too hot, lets hope not and that may be my new laptop.

  3. Ding Ding Ding…we might have a winner! That looks really nice and I like the size, shape and weight. The price is at least lower then Sony’s 0.55 ultrathin, but I hope by under $600 they mean $515 not $595.

  4. Great design, good performance, for a great price? Put the Sony Vaio X on notice, it’s about to be come obsolete.

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