Hewlett-Packard will refresh its Netbook lineup next month with new Atom chips that bring dual-core technology to these mini laptops for the first time.
Documentation on HP's U.S. Web site (PDF) indicates that the HP Mini 5103 will use the new chip. Under "Product Description," the just-announced Intel Atom dual-core N550 1.5GHz processor appears as one of three processor options in HP's support documentation.
Preliminary benchmarks of the Atom N550 are encouraging, indicating, in some cases, better performance than not only a single-core Atom but a dual-core desktop-class Atom processor, according to Web site Notebook Italia.
The Mini 5103 is HP's corporate Netbook offering, which starts at about 2.6 pounds, sports a 10.1-inch screen, uses a metal-encased design, and offers extras such as mobile broadband powered by Qualcomm's Gobi technology. Though it starts at $399, typical configurations are closer to $530.
Consumer HP Netbooks are also expected to get the new chip. Currently, the 10-inch Mini 210 is offered with the single-core N475 (1.83GHz) and N455 (1.66GHz) and starts at $329 with the N455 processor, 1GB of memory, 160GB 7200RPM hard disk drive, Wireless-N Wi-Fi card, Webcam, 3-cell battery, and Windows XP Home. An extra $20 gets you Windows 7 starter.
The refresh is expected by September.
HP declined to comment.
Acer Aspire dual-core Netbooks are already available at the Home Shopping Network.