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Asus, Dell, MSI announce next-gen Atom netbooks

'Pine Trail' product now official

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The 'Pine Trail' netbook announcements are coming thick and fast, following Intel's announcement of its next-gen Atom platform last night. First up, Dell, MSI and Asus.

Asus today admitted it has been working on Eee PC 1005P, 1005PE and 1001P netbooks, all members of its slimline Seashell family.

Asus said they'll deliver up to 14 hours' runtime, though that's almost certainly a result of its Super Hybrid Engine facility, which can over- and underclock the host CPU as much as the use of Intel's new N450 processor.

Indeed, MSI said the N450 alone delivers a battery life boost of around 15 per cent to its Wind U130 and U135 netbooks.

Both have the same basic spec as the Asus machines" 1.66GHz N450 with on-board GMA 3150 graphics core, plus an NM10 chipset handling the I/O: VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, four-in-one memory card reader, 1.3Mp webcam, USB ports, 160GB (U130) or 250GB (U135) hard drive, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The MSI netbooks have the customary 10in, 1024 x 600 display, as do the Asus products.

The N450-based Dell Mini 10 has much the same spec too, but it's limited to 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. Again, there's a choice of 160GB or 250GB hard drive capacity.

It's also offering an optional Broadcom Crystal HD graphics chip, used to feed a 1366 x 768 display.

Asus didn't say how much its trio of Pine Trail netbooks will cost, but they'll all go on sale in January 2010. So will the two MSI machines, which will be priced at £229 and £279, respectively.

The new Mini 10 will ship in the same timeframe for $299 (£185). ®

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