Official images and full specifications of the upcoming ASUS Eee PC 1005P Pine Trail netbook have emerged, after details of the netbook - and its 1005PE sibling - leaked yesterday. Appearance-wise, ASUS have stuck to their Seashell theme, so it seems the main changes are inside with the Atom N450 1.66GHz processor.
With Pine Trail almost upon us, specifications of various ASUS Eee PC netbooks using the new Atom platform have emerged courtesy of premature retailer listings. Latest are the ASUS Eee PC 1005P and Eee PC 1005PE, each using Intel's 1.66GHz Atom N450 processor and a 10.1-inch display.
Both the 1005P and the 1005PE have 1GB of RAM, a 3-cell battery and three USB 2.0 ports, together with a webcam and a copy of Windows 7 Starter. Where they differ is in their hard-drive and wireless connectivity: the 1005P has a 160GB drive, while the 1005PE upgrades that to 250GB and throws Bluetooth into the mixture too.
NVIDIA have officially confirmed that the next-gen "Ion 2" (not the final name) graphics chipset is in the works, but it won't be arriving quite as soon as many had hoped. The company told Fudzilla that the Ion 2 won't see an official launch until later in Q1 2010, as opposed to the Q4 2009 unveil we'd expected; that's apparently because hardware manufacturers want to milk a few more sales out of first-gen Ion devices before the new chip arrives.
Squint and you can just make out Acer's upcoming Pine Trail netbook in the company's driver pages, the Acer Aspire One 532, packing an Intel Atom N450 processor and a variety of SKUs. As well as the newer processor - which we're expecting Intel to officially announce in January 2010 - the netbook also offers a choice of display resolutions, including the common 1024 x 600 and the far preferable 1280 x 720.
Details on NVIDIA's Ion 2 graphics chipset are still relatively scarce, but according to a DigiTimes report the company have already got at least one big-name buyer. Acer have apparently placed orders for the Ion 2 to accompany their upcoming Atom N450, N470, D510 or D410 based notebooks and nettops, and though there's no specific release schedule given, Acer is believed to be planning to release Pine Trail netbooks from January 11th 2010.
Further hardware details regarding Intel's imminent Pine Trail platform have emerged, suggesting that the next-gen Atom chips will be smaller, more efficient and cheaper for the company to produce than the existing processors. Set to debut in Q1 2010, according to Fudzilla the Pine Trail-M mobile chips will deliver a roughly 20-percent reduction in power consumption, when compared with the current Atom CPUs (measured in Mobile Mark 05).
We're only now seeing the first Pineview netbooks - based on Intel's next-gen Atom platform - begin to show themselves, but details are already emerging about the silicon company's intentions for the platform after that. Come 2011, say Fudzilla, Intel are expected to out Cedarview, a 32nm processor with a new, DDR3-compatible memory controller.
That DDR3 compatibility is particularly interesting, as it will put Atom's RAM support on a par with what Intel's Core i7 - Bloomfield processors can utilize. However Intel will limit supported memory to single-channel sticks, though you'll at least be able to use two DIMMs; that, say Fuzdilla, is confirmed for the nettop platform, but it's likely to be the same situation for netbooks.
It's no ThinkPad netbook, but Lenovo's latest IdeaPad ultraportable - as helpfully previewed by our camera-fumbling friends at the FCC - does at least have an unusual CPU to maintain our interest. The FL5-B3 - which we're guessing is not going to be the netbook's final name - uses a 1.66GHz Intel Pineview processor, presumably the Atom N450, paired with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard-drive. While they're still minimal specs in the notebook world, after what seems like a lifetime of half that memory and a meager 160GB of storage they're very welcome.
The first examples of Nokia's Booklet 3G netbook are yet to drop into buyers' hands, but according to leaks fizzing out of Taiwan the Finns are already discussing orders for their second-gen model. Notorious rumor-monger Economic Daily News has suggested that a new Booklet 3G with updated specifications is expected to be released in 2010, a statement that is, frankly, stating the obvious. However, reading between the lines we'd expect any updated netbook from Nokia to take advantage of Intel's upcoming Pine Trail processors, such as the Atom N450, and we do know a little about that CPU's release schedule.
Last we heard, the rumor-pipes were whistling that Intel planned to officially out their Atom N450 processor in Q1 2010. Now, Fudzilla are reporting that the actual launch date for the 1.66GHz chip will be January 3rd, and in fact be a significant day on the Intel calendar for several new chipset arrivals.