Intel ditching Atom screen size restrictions (slightly)

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19 May, 2010 10:05 pm

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Up until now, the maximum screen size for an Intel Atom-powered machines has been 10.2″.  This isn’t just a nice piece of trivia – it’s an official Intel regulation.

This was presumably introduced because, firstly, bigger screens need higher resolutions, which the lightweight Atom CPUs simply can’t power without noticeable loss in performance, and secondly, so cheapy laptop makers wouldn’t be tempted to undercut their competitors by putting a budget Atom CPU in larger machine.

This is all set to change with the release of Intel’s dual-core N550 processor, due in the “second half” of this year – although not drastically.  Don’t expect to see any N550-powered 17″ laptops, the size limitation is only being extended slightly to 11.6″ and 12.1″ models, so let’s all raise our glasses to the continuing blurriness of the line between netbooks, subnotebooks, notebooks and laptops.

Via DigiTimes.


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  • Sascha Pallenberg

    We officially got the announcement that Intel allows the N550 in devices above 10-inches and i officially declare that this category is not a netbook anymore, cause we are talking about a subnotebook formfactor then. no matter how companies wanna call them, these are no netbooks, are not selling in large numbers and this formfactor has been around for many years.
    Unfortunately you have no clue at all about the sales numbers of these devices. We are talking about a small fraction of the market. In the Amazon Top 50 Netbook chart there are 3 (three!)Intel Atom systems above 10.2-inch:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/pc/1232596

    You were wrong in the past, you are wrong now and you will be wrong in the future, sorry to tell you that buddy but i am not a hobby commenter, i have to make a living from knowing how markets are developing. no offense ;)

  • gman

    This will give Sasha fits. He's stuck in the “netbooks are 10 inches and less” world. 11 and 12 inches is actually the best size. Now at least Intel tells us the truth that we haven't had and 11 or 12 inch netbooks because, well, they wouldn't allow that to happen. A few squeezed out but 11 inches seems ideal when you consider resolution, keyboard size, and touchpad size. If anything, 10 inch netbooks will be less common as the 11 and 12 inch netbook revolution is now on. Sorry Sasha, it's time to officially break on your stance. You had to bend, now you have to break. Intel is telling you Atom, which I've said all along, is what makes a netbook. It's not the 10 inch size.

    A netboook is now, officially, a computer that is 12 inches or less. Like it or lump it. Join the party. It's a lot of fun over here. Join us!

  • Wesley

    How come there were already a few 12″ netbooks like my Lenovo S12 that were out 8 months ago?
    Compared to my wife's 10″ netbook, the 12″ is far better especially for internet browsing.

    In my opinion Intel should make a rule for the minimum amount of ram to go with the Atom – 4GB, because even with 2GB of ram it struggles with XP, Vista and Windows 7.

  • gman

    Thanks for your comments. We will likely agree to disagree from now till the end of time. That's fine.

    However, indulge me for a moment. Pointing to a sales chart is meaningless in this argument. If you have 100-1, what are the chances of that “1″ dominating the top positions? Afterall, there is only one, so how could it top the charts? It couldn't possibly. My point is that there are 100 10″ netbooks to every 11 or 12 inch Atom computer. What, is there like one 11 inch, the HP 311 available (not even really available) and you couldn't even get the Asus 12″ Atom computer because it was selling out. >10″ Atom computers are far outnumbered so of course the sales charts would reflect that. I would argue that the average consumer didn't even know about and 11 or 12 inch Atom computer.

    You can stick a fork in subnotebook. You and a few other can use that, which is fine. Nobody else is. You might try to and convince everyone that an 11″ or 12″ Atom computer with 1 gig of RAM is a “subnotebook” but Intel will be content with netbook thank you very much.

    So, I've reduced the sales chart argument to rubble. It's like me, by myself, taking on a soccer team. Me vs. a team. Chances of me winning? Scoring a goal? It's like an 11″ or 12″ Atom computer up against the 10″ netbooks.

    The fact is, Intel said for themselves, that they didn't allow >10″ with Atom. You're the expert and I have no idea how HP 311, S12, and 1201N were released, but it hasn't been available. Personally what you are going to find, is that people would prefer 11 or 12 inches. You add a couple ounces of weight, HD resolutions, bigger keyboard, and bigger touchpad. It's not that people don't want that, it's just that the market (Intel) wasn't letting that happen.

    Sadly, since 9,8, and 7 inch netbooks are dinosaurs, you are limiting your coverage to one size computer. If anything you are cutting out your own legs. If you will stand by your subnotebook, then have at 'er. Perhaps that's suitable from your region, but that term is beyond dead. Atom is netbook. You can run away from that reality if you choose, but this recent news story confirms it. If you are pro at this then you shouldn't be stuck in your ways of thinking. What you are essentially saying is, one size of computer is all that you cover. I haven't seen those 8 inch releases lately although I see Asus coming out with something. Netbooks are settling into the ideal size and as you will see, that will be 11 and 12 inches. It may have been that way all along if it wasn't for Intel not allowing it. Perhaps the public is brainwashed into your thinking of 10″ only is netbook. You want to create another term for the 11 and 12″ Atom computers (subnotebook) and then we have the culv notebooks, then the notebooks then the…

    With all due respect you're not the only one following trends. If you are an expert at something you should know what it is exactly that you are an expert on. If it's netbook, then stick with that. Don't cover the 11 and 12 inch computers with Atom because well, it's not your expertise.

  • Sascha Pallenberg

    The difference is, i need to know the market to make a living. I am meeting all these manufacturers, every week in a year. Most of them have their headquarters right around the corner of my home in Taipei. I am also aware of what Intel is planning for this market, this is because of being part of the Intel Insider programm. This is not a game for me or any fanboy thing, this is my job and therefor, i am not making any biased guesses and try to convince people of my opinion. I need to convince them with facts and how markets are developing and will develope in the future. So you can trust me, that i know what is going on and netbooks are bought because of the formfactor, that's it. They are not even cannibalizing any subnotebooks anymore cause the users know about the performance of a netbook.

    Besides that, i can publish whatever i want cause this is my site. We do even 13.3-inch if we want to, or 5-inch Android MIDs, so what.

    Are you earning money with your comments? No! What is your expertise on the overall mobile computing markets and on which conference can i see your keynote about it? Where is your blog, video.channel, podcast about mobile computing? What is your background?

    You see, this is the difference. I am making a living out of knowing all the facts and consulting manufacturers, software.developers, hosting summits, speaking on conferences and telling people what is going on. You are a commenter, who has no clue about the industry, the markets and consumers.

    If you think, that this is not your source of getting the right information, hey go on but i have no time to get into a discussion like this anymore. it makes no sense cause you have clearly no clue what is going on!

  • gman

    I will reply to myself only to say this. Perhaps the Netbook summit needs to figure out what computers are exactly netbooks. It's funny if you think about it. Don't step on each others toes by calling an 11″ Atom computer a netbook at the summit. One thing to consider is, what if the 10 inch netbook is replaced by 11 inch? Impossible? Not really. Nothing can say whether manufacturers will continue on the 10 inch Atom size now that Intel has taken off the limitations. But just say the 10 inch because yesteryears 9″ netbook. What would you cover then? Have you even considered the possibility of this happening? Maybe when the 8 and 9 inchers were around you had lots to cover. With only one size left standing, surely that must make you slightly nervous.

  • gman

    I appreciate the debate. No disrespect intended. Of course I respect your expertise or I wouldn't visit your site. I'm not going to divulge my credential other than to say I follow this closely but from an outsiders perspective. Or shall I say consumers perspective. I do say, with respect, that perhaps the Netbook Summit really needs to help establish and define netbook. Many bloggers are reluctant but many people ask. For me there is nothing wrong with open debate. And yes, it is important to establish what a “netbook” is. If anything you should endorse a larger scope for what is a “netbook” as it would certainly boost your site and coverage. More eyes, more ears. I'm one of the few people pushing the debate. It makes sense if the Netbook Summit want more relevance, that they come together with some dialogue on the subject. 12″ and less suits me just fine, but that's my opinion. Thanks for engaging in the subject. Good day.

  • gman

    This will give Sasha fits. He's stuck in the “netbooks are 10 inches and less” world. 11 and 12 inches is actually the best size. Now at least Intel tells us the truth that we haven't had and 11 or 12 inch netbooks because, well, they wouldn't allow that to happen. A few squeezed out but 11 inches seems ideal when you consider resolution, keyboard size, and touchpad size. If anything, 10 inch netbooks will be less common as the 11 and 12 inch netbook revolution is now on. Sorry Sasha, it's time to officially break on your stance. You had to bend, now you have to break. Intel is telling you Atom, which I've said all along, is what makes a netbook. It's not the 10 inch size.

    A netboook is now, officially, a computer that is 12 inches or less. Like it or lump it. Join the party. It's a lot of fun over here. Join us!

  • Sascha Pallenberg

    We officially got the announcement that Intel allows the N550 in devices above 10-inches and i officially declare that this category is not a netbook anymore, cause we are talking about a subnotebook formfactor then. no matter how companies wanna call them, these are no netbooks, are not selling in large numbers and this formfactor has been around for many years.
    Unfortunately you have no clue at all about the sales numbers of these devices. We are talking about a small fraction of the market. In the Amazon Top 50 Netbook chart there are 3 (three!)Intel Atom systems above 10.2-inch:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/pc/1232596

    You were wrong in the past, you are wrong now and you will be wrong in the future, sorry to tell you that buddy but i am not a hobby commenter, i have to make a living from knowing how markets are developing, that's the difference between a pro and, yeah a hobby analyst ;)

  • Wesley

    How come there were already a few 12″ netbooks like my Lenovo S12 that were out 8 months ago?
    Compared to my wife's 10″ netbook, the 12″ is far better especially for internet browsing.

    In my opinion Intel should make a rule for the minimum amount of ram to go with the Atom – 4GB, because even with 2GB of ram it struggles with XP, Vista and Windows 7.

  • gman

    Thanks for your comments. We will likely agree to disagree from now till the end of time. That's fine.

    However, indulge me for a moment. Pointing to a sales chart is meaningless in this argument. If you have 100-1, what are the chances of that “1″ dominating the top positions? Afterall, there is only one, so how could it top the charts? It couldn't possibly. My point is that there are 100 10″ netbooks to every 11 or 12 inch Atom computer. What, is there like one 11 inch, the HP 311 available (not even really available) and you couldn't even get the Asus 12″ Atom computer because it was selling out. >10″ Atom computers are far outnumbered so of course the sales charts would reflect that. I would argue that the average consumer didn't even know about and 11 or 12 inch Atom computer.

    You can stick a fork in subnotebook. You and a few other can use that, which is fine. Nobody else is. You might try to and convince everyone that an 11″ or 12″ Atom computer with 1 gig of RAM is a “subnotebook” but Intel will be content with netbook thank you very much.

    So, I've reduced the sales chart argument to rubble. It's like me, by myself, taking on a soccer team. Me vs. a team. Chances of me winning? Scoring a goal? It's like an 11″ or 12″ Atom computer up against the 10″ netbooks.

    The fact is, Intel said for themselves, that they didn't allow >10″ with Atom. You're the expert and I have no idea how HP 311, S12, and 1201N were released, but it hasn't been available. Personally what you are going to find, is that people would prefer 11 or 12 inches. You add a couple ounces of weight, HD resolutions, bigger keyboard, and bigger touchpad. It's not that people don't want that, it's just that the market (Intel) wasn't letting that happen.

    Sadly, since 9,8, and 7 inch netbooks are dinosaurs, you are limiting your coverage to one size computer. If anything you are cutting out your own legs. If you will stand by your subnotebook, then have at 'er. Perhaps that's suitable from your region, but that term is beyond dead. Atom is netbook. You can run away from that reality if you choose, but this recent news story confirms it. If you are pro at this then you shouldn't be stuck in your ways of thinking. What you are essentially saying is, one size of computer is all that you cover. I haven't seen those 8 inch releases lately although I see Asus coming out with something. Netbooks are settling into the ideal size and as you will see, that will be 11 and 12 inches. It may have been that way all along if it wasn't for Intel not allowing it. Perhaps the public is brainwashed into your thinking of 10″ only is netbook. You want to create another term for the 11 and 12″ Atom computers (subnotebook) and then we have the culv notebooks, then the notebooks then the…

    With all due respect you're not the only one following trends. If you are an expert at something you should know what it is exactly that you are an expert on. If it's netbook, then stick with that. Don't cover the 11 and 12 inch computers with Atom because well, it's not your expertise.

  • Sascha Pallenberg

    The difference is, i need to know the market to make a living. I am meeting all these manufacturers, every week in a year. Most of them have their headquarters right around the corner of my home in Taipei. I am also aware of what Intel is planning for this market, this is because of being part of the Intel Insider programm. This is not a game for me or any fanboy thing, this is my job and therefor, i am not making any biased guesses and try to convince people of my opinion. I need to convince them with facts and how markets are developing and will develope in the future. So you can trust me, that i know what is going on and netbooks are bought because of the formfactor, that's it. They are not even cannibalizing any subnotebooks anymore cause the users know about the performance of a netbook.

    Besides that, i can publish whatever i want cause this is my site. We do even 13.3-inch if we want to, or 5-inch Android MIDs, so what.

    Are you earning money with your comments? No! What is your expertise on the overall mobile computing markets and on which conference can i see your keynote about it? Where is your blog, video.channel, podcast about mobile computing? What is your background?

    You see, this is the difference. I am making a living out of knowing all the facts and consulting manufacturers, software.developers, hosting summits, speaking on conferences and telling people what is going on. You are a commenter, who has no clue about the industry, the markets and consumers.

    If you think, that this is not your source of getting the right information, hey go on but i have no time to get into a discussion like this anymore. it makes no sense cause you have clearly no clue what is going on!

  • gman

    I will reply to myself only to say this. Perhaps the Netbook summit needs to figure out what computers are exactly netbooks. It's funny if you think about it. Don't step on each others toes by calling an 11″ Atom computer a netbook at the summit. One thing to consider is, what if the 10 inch netbook is replaced by 11 inch? Impossible? Not really. Nothing can say whether manufacturers will continue on the 10 inch Atom size now that Intel has taken off the limitations. But just say the 10 inch because yesteryears 9″ netbook. What would you cover then? Have you even considered the possibility of this happening? Maybe when the 8 and 9 inchers were around you had lots to cover. With only one size left standing, surely that must make you slightly nervous.

  • gman

    I appreciate the debate. No disrespect intended. Of course I respect your expertise or I wouldn't visit your site. I'm not going to divulge my credential other than to say I follow this closely but from an outsiders perspective. Or shall I say consumers perspective. I do say, with respect, that perhaps the Netbook Summit really needs to help establish and define netbook. Many bloggers are reluctant but many people ask. For me there is nothing wrong with open debate. And yes, it is important to establish what a “netbook” is. If anything you should endorse a larger scope for what is a “netbook” as it would certainly boost your site and coverage. More eyes, more ears. I'm one of the few people pushing the debate. It makes sense if the Netbook Summit want more relevance, that they come together with some dialogue on the subject. 12″ and less suits me just fine, but that's my opinion. Thanks for engaging in the subject. Good day.