Are netbooks making a comeback? A few years ago it was hard to visit a coffee shop without spotting someone using an inexpensive 10 inch portable notebook, and virtually every major PC maker had a netbook to offer. But as tablets grew more popular, ultrabooks brought thin and light design to higher-powered notebooks, and Intel’s low-cost Atom chips continued to offer 2008-era performance, netbooks started to fade away.

But this year Asus introduced a 10 inch notebook with an Intel Celeron processor called the Asus 1015E. Some new 10 inch tablets with keyboard docks like the Asus Transformer Book T100 sort of resemble netbooks in portability and price, but offer better performance than old-school netbooks.

And now it looks like Acer is getting ready to launch a 10 inch touchscreen netbook with an Intel Celeron/Bay Trail processor under its Packard Bell brand.

Update: The Gateway LT41p 10 inch touchscreen notebook is now officially available in the US.

Packard Bell ENME69BMP

The Packard Bell ENME69BMP popped up at web sites for several European retailers recently. It’s a Windows 8 notebook that features a 10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel multi-touch display and an Intel Celeron N2805 processor.

That’s a Celeron chip based on Intel’s new Silvermont/Bay Trail architecture — the same technology used in the company’s latest Atom chips for tablets. This particular chip is a 1.46 GHz dual-core processor with Intel HD 4000 graphics.

The laptop also features 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, 2 USB 2.0 ports, VGA and HDMI ports, an SD card slot, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 720p webcam. The laptop weighs about 2.4 pounds.

Packard Bell isn’t a big name in the US anymore, but Acer continues to use the name for products it sells overseas. There’s a chance we could eventually see a similar mini-laptop sold under the Acer or Gateway brand in the US eventually.

Update: Yep, as cybernevets points out, a Gateway-branded version called the Gateway LT41P04u is already up for order in the US for $330, featuring the same Celeron N2805 processor and 2GB of RAM with a 320GB hard drive, 10 inch touchscreen display, and 5 hour battery.


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15 replies on “Gateway/Packard Bell launch 10 inch mini-laptop: Return of the netbook?”

  1. I think that is really neat. It would be nice if one could chose the operating system for it, have a choice other than Windows 8 – like Ubuntu or other operating system.

    I think tablets computers are good for somethings but I prefer typing on a keyboard (not a virtual one).

  2. Thank you! My ex broke the screen on my old acer netbook so I’ve been waiting around and hoping that a new generation (new hardware) of 10.1 or 11.6 inch notebooks would arrive. It looks like this might be happening.

  3. Just need to see a widespread return to SSDs, especially now they are so much more affordable for usable capacities (who needs 500MB on a netbook?!). No spinny things in my portable devices, tyvm.

    1. i do, for professional use. to carry about 300+ applications and their data. hard space the weak point of all tablets so far, overcome again. all my netbooks have large hd’s therefore.

      1. Fair enough, but yours is probably an unusual scenario. Good to have both options.

  4. Hoping to see Pentium N3510 10″ netbooks or if possible with a low end Haswell based Celeron/Pentium.

    1. Anyone know of how the Pentium N3510 (Bay Trail M, 4 cores, 2.00 GHz and 7.5 W TDP) would compare with the Pentium 3560Y (Haswell, 2 cores, 1.2 GHz and 11.5 W TDP) for highly multithreaded applications like x264 encoding (no Quick Sync for both), XZ (de)compression and H.264 playback?


      1. Performance wise it will be like this.

        Core i7 > core i5 > core i3 > Pentium > Celeron > atom.

        Normally Intel used to sell atom processors under single brand (atom). But starting with the Bay trail they are branding some higher frequency, high power atoms as Pentium and Celeron.

        As far as I know, Haswell Pentiums will be definitely faster than Bay Trail atom Pentium processors.

        1. For a highly multi-threaded application, that may not be true between
          the N3510 and 3560Y. With half the cores and almost half the frequency,
          will the Haswell architecture still beat the Bay Trail M Atom under such
          parallel loads?

          1. Ya, the CPU intensive tasks I do are multi-threaded so I’m interested in those kinds of comparisons. For everything else I do, it doesn’t really matter because I probably won’t notice the difference in speed.

      2. What I want to know is how the N3510 fares against AMD’s A6-5200 APU. Both are quad-core 2 GHz processors; it’d be interesting to see whether Bay Trail or Kabini is faster.

        1. Well, if the open source Linux drivers for the APU are stable and on par with the Windows drivers in terms of features and performance then I’d be interested in such a comparison. I’d be mostly interested in CPU tasks and non-gaming graphics tests though.

          1. Oh ya, power consumption tests under different loads would be great too for 3 chips.

  5. I think its good strategy for OEMs to bring the netbooks again because a lot of things are changed in the last 3 years and it will definitely benefit the OEMs.

    1. Atom processor performance increased a lot in the last 2 years especially with Bay trail quad core which makes these netbooks more usable.
    2. Also, quality of displays improved drastically and become much cheaper.
    3. Cost of Atom processors reduced a lot (earlier intel used to charge $70-$80 even for atoms because of no competition. Now Bay trail costs $30-$35).
    4. Price of Windows license has been reduced for the small laptops (<11inch) by MS.
    Both these factors will benefit OEMs a lot.

    But I hope OEMs make 11.6 inch netbooks instead of 10 inch clam shells. For the devices like ASUS T100 (detachables) 10inch will be fine.

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