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Intel: dual-core Atom netbooks on sale now

N550 hits the shelves

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Intel today lauded the arrival of netbooks based on its new dual-core Atom processor, the N550.

It named Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI and Toshiba as netbook manufacturers who are shipping N550-based machines "now and through the end of the year" - which essentially means you shouldn't expect to go out and buy one of these boxes tomorrow.

Intel claimed the DDR 3-supporting CPU delivers a battery drain that's "similar" to that of the single-core 1.66GHz N450, which consumes up to 5.5W of power.

In part, that's because Intel has lowered the N550's clock speed to 1.5GHz, Intel figuring the extra core more than makes up for the slower clock speed. Reports from Taiwanese show Computex a couple of months back had the N550's TDP down as 8.3W.

Intel has reportedly said it doesn't mind N550 netbooks having displays of up to 12in, which would put the N550 up as an alternative to the Celeron, Pentium Dual-Core and Core Solo processors we've seen in 11.6in and 12in notebooks of late. ®

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