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Intel's Canoe Lake chips propel streamlined netbooks

Remember netbooks -- the tiny laptop things? Y'know, the skinny little tablets with built-in keyboards? They're about to get even thinner thanks to a new Intel platform

Rory Reid

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Remember netbooks -- the tiny laptop things? Y'know, the iPad-lookin' things with built-in keyboards? They're about to get even thinner, thanks to a new Intel chip platform codenamed Canoe Lake.

The platform allows for netbook designs that are 50 per cent skinnier than those in existence right now. To prove the point, Intel showed off the "world's thinnest netbook" at Computex. It's an ubersleek device measuring just 14mm at its fattest point -- 5.4mm thinner than the MacBook Air.

The machine won't ever go on sale, sadly. It's a reference model designed to spark the imaginations of laptop makers, who'll hopefully take up the challenge of creating the world's thinnest netbook for real.

There is reason for hope. The last time Intel unveiled a netbook reference, back at the start of the year, it was to demonstrate the company's Pine Trail Atom chips. Today, we're literally surrounded by Pine Trail netbooks (if you could throw us a sandwich, that'd be great), so it's surely just a matter of time before Canoe Lake machines begin cropping up.

Speaking of Pine Trail, Intel also used Computex to unveil the next generation of the chip, to be known as Pine Trail N. Few details have been released, but word is they'll be comparable in speeds to the dual-core Atom chips being used in desktops and nettops.

More on this as we get it. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the skinny little beauty above in our photo gallery.

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The reference netbook is a mere 14mm thick. Let's hope the size-zero battery holds more than a few minutes' charge.
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Worryingly, we don't see any ports on this prototype. Still, we're sure Intel, and whichever laptop manufacturers actually create one, will cross that bridge when they get to it.

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