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Netbook’s first with dual-core Atom

Aug 26, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Asus announced a netbook that not only includes Intel's dual-core Atom N550, but also offers USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0. The Eee PC 1015PEM provides up to 13 hours of battery life, running either Windows 7 Starter Edition or the Linux-based “Express Gate” operating environment, the company says.

The dual-core N550 is the latest in Intel's Pine Trail series of Atoms (also known as "Pineview" when their companion I/O controllers are taken into account). It was first tipped in May by Fudzilla writer Fuad Abazovic, but not formally announced until last Monday.

According to Intel, the 45nm N550 has a 1.5GHz clock speed, 1MB of second-level cache, and an 8.5 Watt TDP. (The latter puts it usefully ahead of one dual-core rival, AMD's Athlon II Neo K325, which has featured in netbooks such as Dell's Inspiron M101z, and is said to have a 12-Watt TDP.)

In its Aug. 23 statement, Intel said the N550 would feature "now and through the end of the year" in netbooks from companies including Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI, and Toshiba. Asus is the first vendor to announce, however, in the form of the Eee PC 1015PEM, which is also said to include USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0.

The Eee PC 1015PEM

The Eee PC 1015PEM, pictured above, is part of the manufacturer's "Seashell" series of netbooks, which has also included devices such as the Atom N450-equipped Eee PC 1008P and the N280-equipped Eee PC 1008HA. As such, it has familiar styling, and typical netbook features: a 10.1-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels; from 160GB to 320GB of hard disk storage; and a VGA-resolution webcam.

However, Asus says the 1015PEM is available with either three USB 2.0 ports, or one USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.0 ports. The latter provide 4.8Gb/sec. data transfer — faster than SATA II, the company claims.

USB 3.0's transfer rates relative to others
Source: Asus

The 1015PEM is also said to include Bluetooth 3.0, which allows devices to discover one another and "shake hands" using a Bluetooth radio, then switch to 802.11 networking for faster file transfers. We've thus far encountered only a couple of other netbooks to be so equipped (Samsung's N230 and Dell's Inspiron Mini 1018, for example).

Other connectivity includes 802.11b/g/n wireless networking and an Ethernet port, according to Asus. The netbook is also said to have an MMC/SD card reader, audio jacks (mic in and headphone out), and a VGA port, but there's no HDMI (presumably this will be reserved for a rumored configuration of the device that adds Nvidia's Ion 2 graphics processing unit).

Asus says the 1015PEM is available with a choice of three different six-cell batteries (48Wh, 56Wh, or 63Wh), proving lifetimes of 10, 11, or 13 hours. Including battery, the netbook weighs 2.8 pounds, according to the company.

The 1015PEM runs Windows 7 Starter Edition, but it's said users can also boot it into Express Gate, a cut-down version of Linux that has also featured on other Asus devices. A variant of DeviceVM's Splashtop technology, Express Gate starts up in about five seconds and allows quick access to a photo viewer, the Firefox web browser, an instant messaging program, and the Skype VoIP client, according to Asus.

Specifications listed by Asus for the Eee PC 1015PEM include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N550 clocked at 1.5GHz
  • Chipset — NM10
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR3 RAM (expandable to 2GB)
  • Display — 10.1-inch screen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution
  • Webcam — .3 megapixel
  • Storage — 160GB, 250GB, or 320GB hard disk drives (5400rpm presumed but not stated)
  • Expansion — MMC/SSD card reader
  • Networking:
    • LAN — Ethernet (speeds n/s)
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g/n
    • PAN — Bluetooth 3.0
  • Other I/O:
    • 3 x USB 2.0, or 2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x VGA
    • audio — mic in, headphone out
  • Battery — six-cell lithium-ion batteries (48Wh, 56Wh, or 63Wh) provides 10, 11, or 13 hours of operation
  • Dimensions — 10.31 x 7 x 1.43 inches (262 x 178 x 36.4mm)
  • Weight — 2.8 pounds (1.27kg)

Further information

Pricing and availability for the Eee PC 1015PEM were not detailed, but further information may be found on the Asus website, here.

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