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Mysteries solved--new Intel Classmate PC unveiled

Intel reveals designs for its Netbook, one of several updates to the Classmate PC that have been floating around online for weeks.

Boasting bigger screens, bigger hard drives, and an integrated Webcam, updated versions of the Classmate PC were introduced at the Intel Developer Forum Thursday.

Classmate PC
The 7-inch Classmate PC in blue Intel

Blurred images of laptops that looked strikingly similar to the Classmate have been floating around the blogosphere over the last couple of weeks, popping up with different names, like the 2go PC. That's just one version, which will be made by Computer Technology Link, or CTL.

Intel creates the basic design for the Classmate PC, a category of computer the chipmaker is calling a NetBook, and regional manufacturers put their own spin on it.

The latest versions will be available starting this month with a 9-inch screen and a 30GB hard drive. It will sell for between $300 and $500. Those prices put it just above the cost of the Classmate PC's chief competition, the XO from the One Laptop Per Child program. The XO costs just under $200, and is chiefly targeted at students in developing nations.

The price of the new Classmate PCs put it in direct competition with the popular Eee PC from Asus, which is also a small, light laptop. From the beginning, Asus has said its Eee PC was intended for children, not necessarily for emerging countries, however. The larger screen, bigger hard drive, and higher price show Intel intends to go after mainstream Western markets now, too.

Don't miss CNET's full review of the new 9-inch Classmate PC.

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