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Report: HP, Intel in Talks to Ease Atom Restrictions

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

HP is reportedly in talks with Intel regarding the restrictions in place on the Atom processor.

The Atom is used in most netbooks on the market, however it is only available for use in netbooks with up to 10.2-inch displays. According to Digitimes, HP is said to be in negotiations with Intel reportedly in hopes to use Intel’s Atom in new mini-note PC models with larger panels.

The news comes at the same time as rumors about an Atom competitor from VIA. The VIA C7-M processor is currently used in HP’s 2133 Mini-Note, which was launched before the copious amounts of Atom netbooks hit shelves.

Digitimes cites sources who say that, in light of competition from netbooks by Asus and Acer, HP's '09 roadmap shows the company hopes to add both 11.6-inch model and a 13.3-inch model to its netbook line. The 11.6-inch is expected in the second quarter of 2009 and the 13.3-inch in June 2009.

We’re all in favor of HP basing its next line of mini-notes on the Atom, but is a 13.3-inch really a netbook? We don’t think Intel will go the for it. However, while we think only the 11.6-inch has a shot, Digitimes sources think HP is likely to obtain consent from Intel. Watch this space for more. Intel is expected to make a decision at the end of January.

Read the full story on Digitimes.

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  • 0 Hide
    Master Exon , December 31, 2008 4:28 PM
    I think that extra 1.5 inches really makes the difference. I want a 12" notebook/netbook/minibook.
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , December 31, 2008 4:48 PM
    i think intel will be conservative on this unless all manufacturers intend to that 11.6inch screen size netbook on an atom.

  • 1 Hide
    tpi2007 , December 31, 2008 6:47 PM
    To me 13.3" is compact notebook territory, but 11.6" is defintely a must for netbooks. If you look at the MSI Wind/LG X110 or the Asus Eee 1000H you can see that the larger panel is absolutely right for the size of the computer. It complements the best form factor to accomodate a good keyboard and a screen with a size to match! I'm all in for an 11.6"! Besides, that would allow for for a 1280x768 resolution. I personaly would still use the 1024x600 because of the larger letter that strain the eyes less, but the 1280x768 possibility is a must for many people.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 31, 2008 7:02 PM
    Uh, how do you explain the Dell Mini 12???
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 31, 2008 7:05 PM
    How do you explain the Dell Mini 12???
  • 1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , December 31, 2008 8:15 PM
    As long as Intel is using the power hungry chipsets there is going to be problems for Atom. Hope Ion makes a difference.
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , December 31, 2008 8:18 PM
    Is there a problem in calling an Atom-based product a "laptop?"
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 31, 2008 8:43 PM
    The real question is this: Why would a CPU manufacturer put a condition in their contract that says a company can't use their cpus if the screen is larger than a certain size? That would be like Microsoft putting out an mp3 player but saying you have to buy the music otherwise it will delete it after three plays. That would be ridiculous!
  • 0 Hide
    timothyd , January 1, 2009 3:13 PM
    Intel defined the netbook and nettop categories with certain limitations so as not to cannibalize sales of their more expensive CPUs. If you want to build a something larger than a certain size then you have to use a more expensive Celeron or Pentium Dual Core. Microsoft has done the same thing with their extension of the Windows XP Home EOL (end-of-life) in placing limitations on the specs of these categories of computer.
  • 0 Hide
    timothyd , January 1, 2009 3:32 PM
    timothydIntel defined the netbook and nettop categories with certain limitations so as not to cannibalize sales of their more expensive CPUs. If you want to build something larger than a certain size then you have to use a more expensive Celeron or Pentium Dual Core. Microsoft has done the same thing with their extension of the Windows XP Home EOL (end-of-life) in placing limitations on the specs of these categories of computer.

  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , January 1, 2009 11:26 PM
    people Just say no to HP heck they already sold a netbook over the holidays at the same price i could buy a full laptop with a core 2. HP is just trying to find another way to overprice there products
  • 0 Hide
    Hornet85 , January 2, 2009 7:07 AM
    timothyd made a very good point. I can see Atom taking a huge chunk of sales away from Intel's own mobile processor.

    Shame though, Atom would have made a very good processor for laptop for users who doesn't play video games or any CPU intensive application.
  • 0 Hide
    martel80 , January 2, 2009 1:40 PM
    tpi2007I personaly would still use the 1024x600 because of the larger letter that strain the eyes less, but the 1280x768 possibility is a must for many people.

    Why not just increase the DPI/font size?! Far better than having smeared image due to scaling.
  • 0 Hide
    tpi2007 , January 4, 2009 4:58 PM
    martel80: you're right, it's also a valid option. Having a smeared image due to scaling would probably occur in such a netbook.

    I said that because I do that in my desktop 20" wide LG flatron L204WT. It supports a maximum of 1680x1050, but I use it for long hours and therefore use a very conservative resolution of 1280x768.

    And there is absolutely no smearing at all.

    I would guess that some people think that LCD's don't perform well in resolutions other than their maximum, but I found out that isn't true. The problem is many people don't adjust the refresh rate.

    I have done this experiment with at least four monitors including mine (the others being and LG 22" wide, HP 19" normal and Asus 19" wide), and reached the same conclusion. For example, my monitor only displays 1280x768 correctly at it's maximum refresh rate of 75hz. The predefined 60hz for example won't work (horrible image).


    As or the anonymous: I just went to Dell's site and I probably found out the cause for the existence of the Inspiron Mini 12: it does not use the Atom N270. Instead it uses the original Z series, the 1.33 Ghz Z520 ant the 1.6 Ghz Z530 Atoms together with the Poulsbo Chipset.

    This chipset has better video capabilities than the 945 chipset and therefore Intel probably allows bigger screens to take advantage of that. And I suspect the chipset may be a little pricier too.

    On the downside, the chipset was designed to accomodate only 1GB of Ram, which again, despite the netbook having a bigger screen, its performance won't be able to increase that much because of this limitation. Intel sure knows how to keep it Core 2 Duos safe from the Netbook craze :D