Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What to expect in CES 2012 - Intel based Mini-Notebooks

CES 2012. The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show starts next week which will give us a taste of what to expect in 2012. Before you get too excited, we really do not expect all the products shown at CES 2012 to be available immediately, but most will come out in the market by March to April 2012. Some will be available immediately.

The Netbook officially dies. Intel is starting to ship the Atom N2600 and N2800 Cedar Trail Atom processors. The new Atoms will run at 1600 MHz and 1833 MHz respectively and will finally being 1080p video playback support to the Atom, allowing it to catch up AMD's Fusion platform. This is long overdue.

Still the Cedar Trail processors are not expected to have as much processing and graphics power as the AMD Fusion C-60 and E-450 chips, they are much cooler running and less battery hungry with a termal design point of 6.5W. 

With the release of the Intel N2600 and N2800 expect to see the term netbook disappear, the new "netbooks" being marketed as multimedia mini-notebooks instead.

Ultrabook like designs. With a TDP of 6.5W expect to see these mini-netbook in ultra slim ultra-light designs similar to the Asus Eee PC X101.

Long battery life. You can also expect longer battery life from the new Intel N2600 and N2800, some with battery life as long as 10 hours.

Tablet alternative. Whether the Intel's new chip will be enough to slow down the onslaught of tablets remains to be seen until Intel gets into the tablet game. I think it might. Coupled with all the recent news about medical problems the occur because of bas posture caused by too much use of tablets and smartphones, I think these new mini-notebooks will find a market. They are really much better for the posture.

A decade ago we were looking at desktop screens level of out face. Now we glance down a few degrees to look at our laptop screens. Tablets for us to anlge our head forward even more which over a few years of use could cause serious back problems.

Availability. Given that Intel has been shipping the N2600 and N2800 since Q4 of 2011, we expect to see the new Mini-Netbooks in a few weeks.

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