NEC is the latest PC maker to get in on the dual core Atom action. The company has just introduced a new netbook in Japan with a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 dual core CPU, 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive. The NEC LaVie Light BL550 netbook also has a 10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel HD display and runs Windows 7 Home Premium.
As you’d expect from a netbook with those specs, the LaVie Light BL550 comes with a premium price. It’s expected to sell for about 85,000 yen, or about $1010 US. Even when you consider the fact that notebooks typically cost more in Japan than the US, that’s still an awfully expensive netbook.
NEC is also luanching a new single core model called the LaVie Light BL350 which will have a 1.83GHz Intel Atom N475 CPU, 1GB of memory and a 250Gb hard drive. This model will run Windows 7 Starter Edition and run about 70,000 yen or about $832 US.
HP will start seling an updated version of the HP Mini 5103 business netbook on September 17th. The netbook is already available for $399 and up with a choice of an Intel Atom N455 or N475 processor, but starting on the 17th you’ll be able to snag one with a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 dual core processor.
The company says the new chip offers a performance boost of about 25% while resulting in about 15 minutes lower battery life. That’s not a bad tradeoff, since HP’s current crop of business netbooks get a respectable 6 hours of run time.
Aside from the new processor option, there aren’t many differences between the new model and the older HP Mini 5102. The netbook will continue to come with a 7200RPM hard drive or a high speed solid state disk. The 10.1 inch display is available in 1024 x 600 and 1366 x 768 pixel resolutions, and there’s a capacitive touchscreen option as well.
The netbook case is made of metal, with an aluminum top and a magnesium alloy bottom. Other options include GPS or 3G mobile broadband. HP also plans to start offering a new quick-start feature that will show information from your Outlook calendar while your computer is booting. You can either pause to view the calendar in more detail, or wait a moment to let it boot the full Windows 7 operating system at that point.’
HP will offer the Mini 5103 with Windows 7 Starter, Pro, or Home Premium, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, or FreeDOS.
Acer owns the Gateway, Packard Bell, and eMachines brands. So it should come as no surprise that shortly after introducing new Acer netbook models, we tend to see similar machines arrive under one or more of these brand names. Latest case in point? The new Packard Bell Dot SE, which appears to be awfully similar to the recently launched Acer Aspire One D255.
Netbook News.de spotted a listing for the new Packard Bell Dot SE.CH/001 at Alltron. Like it’s Acer-branded sibling, this new model featurs a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display and a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 dual core CPU.
The netbook also has 1GB of DDR2 memory, a 250GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Starter Edition. The 6 cell battery is said to be good for up to 7.5 hours of run time, and the netbook weighs about 2.8 pounds.
The Packard Bell Dot SE is available in Europe for about 400 Euros, or roughly $505 US. I don’t expect to see this model in the US anytime soon.
Remember Haleron? They’re the company that surprised and kind of horrified the world a few weeks ago with the announcement of the Swordfish Net102 netbook that sports two separate Intel Atom N270 processors. Not a dual core CPU — two separate CPUs sucking up your power and most likely not talking to one another properly to actually help improve performance.
But it looks like Haleron also has a slightly more sane-looking netbook called the Swordfish Net 20 that swaps the usual Intel Atom N270/N280 CPU for a dual core Atom 330 processor. This chip is usually found in desktops since it consumes more power than the N2xx series processors. But it has a pretty strong track record of playing well with Windows and Linux.
The Swordfish Net 20 includes 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive (or an optional 250GB HDD), a 10.2 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel LCD, 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, 3 USB ports, VGA, Ethernet, a 1.3MP webcam, and a 5-in-1 card reader. It has a 6 cell battery and features an unlocked 3G modem. The laptop sells for $499.
Haleron also makes several lower cost netbooks with single core Intel Atom N270 processors.