Asus is taking pre-orders for a new netbook that runs on the combined Atom N280/GN40 chipset.
According to Linuxdevices.com and the Asus website, the new netbooks are equipped with a 160-GByte hard drive, 1 GBye RAM and a 10" display with LED backlighting. For communication with the outside world the 1000HE runs over an 802.11n wireless network adapter, Bluetooth and a webcam (no details yet). The netbook has three USB ports, a card reader, VGA output and the usual Ethernet ports. It should cost around $400.
The interesting part of the Asus netbook is the new CPU. The Atom N280 processor from Intel runs at about the same rate as its predecessor (1.66 GHz), but also integrates the GN40 graphics chipset. By this combination the graphics and CPU use only 2.5 Watts of power. In comparison, a traditional netbook with an Atom N270 and GMA945 graphics core uses around 6.5 Watts. Because of this change and a markedly larger battery pack (6 cells with 8700mAh), the netbook can run 9.5 hours without a recharge.
Windows and/or Linux?
Asus has not yet come out with an official statement about the netbook's OS. Rumors will fly whether it will be Windows XP, Moblin or even Android. Asus accredits the 1000HE with a fast startup time, which hints at Linux. Amazon.com, on the other hand, offers the 1000HE preloaded with XP Home.
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