Intel Changes Rules To Allow More HD Ready Netbooks?

Intel has apparently given the green light to allow netbooks capable of displaying 1366x768 pixels in a move that may allow manufacturers to differentiate upmarket models from cheaper mainstream ones.

According to Hong-Kong based online etch website HKEPC, Intel has approved the switch and more models like the Sony Vaio W netbooks should come to market soon.

Intel initially restricted the screen resolution of netbooks using N-series processor (like the N270 and the N280) to 1024x600 pixels - less than standard XGA resolution. The move to 1366x768 means that the upmarket netbook will qualify as HD-ready devices.

The resolution - used by Apple's Mac Book Air - could mean smaller than usual font sizes and icons on Netbooks. It is also likely that Intel's own graphic subsystem won't be powerful enough to keep up with high definition streams prompting manufacturers to switch to Nvidia or AMD's solutions.

Microsoft and Intel have both agreed that netbook screen sizes should not go beyond 10.2-inch and any model that will go beyond this will not qualify for Windows 7 cheaper versions.

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Our Comments

Microsoft and Intel are likely to agree on keeping screen sizes under 10-inch. Anything higher is likely to eat away market share in the more lucrative notebook market; this is especially true for Microsoft. Still HD quality on a 10-inch screen is not to be sniffed at, provided that (a) you've either got a good subsystem like Ion or (b) you won't be watching HD content often.

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