Sunday, April 6, 2008

Intel Reveals Second-Generation Classmate PC

Intel Corp. has unveiled the second generation of its Classmate personal computers designed for worldwide education markets. The new systems are affordable, fully-functional and rugged, but most importantly, they are capable of running more or less contemporary software applications.

The second-generation Classmate PCs from Intel come with 9” screen (with 800x480 resolution) and features Intel Celeron M353 (900MHz) processor, Intel 915 chipset with built-in graphics core, 512MB of DDR2 memory, 30GB hard disk drive with 3600rpm spindle speed, built-in webcam, Ethernet and Wi-Fi controller, SD card slot and so on.

Obviously, with low-screen resolution and 900MHz processor it will be impossible to enjoy modern video games or multimedia on the system. Nevertheless, performance of Intel Classmate PC 2 should be enough for using Microsoft Windows operating system and basis software, which is exactly what the vast majority of the system’s owners will do.

Intel also said future Intel-powered classmate PCs will be built with the Intel Atom processor. It is an energy-efficient, low-cost computer chip designed to provide wireless capability to small mobile computing devices such as netbooks.

“Only 5% of the world’s children today have access to a PC or to the Internet. Education is one of the best examples of how technology improves our lives. We have seen how technology helps teachers create fun learning experiences more efficiently. We have also been touched by children’s excitement when they are inspired by technology. The Intel-powered classmate PC is one of the ways we support the IT industry in spreading the benefits of technology in education for children around the world,” said Andrew Chien, Intel vice president of corporate technology group and director of Intel Research.

Intel’s partners plan to sell the 9” Classmate PC for about $400 in the near future. Since the price-tag is too high for many markets, whereas screen with 800x480 is unsuitable for developed countries, many local PC vendors may offer customized Classmate PCs to appeal the needs of their customers.

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