Intel To Pit Convertible Classmate Against Apple's iPad Tablet?

Intel has shown an updated version of its Classmate computer class at Cebit 2010 in Hanover, one which it hopes will spark a slew of products and repeat the success of the netbook form factor, which was based on the original Classmate model.

The Classmate circa 2010 comes with the spanking new Atom Pineview processor that integrates the graphics module onboard and should offer better battery life than its predecessor while slightly improving the overall performance of the system.

Intel expects the new Classmate models to last at least 8.5 hours (or 510 minutes), more than enough for a full day of school or work. The 10.1-inch model comes with a 1024x600 resistive touch-capable display, a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, a rugged chassis with a handle.

The device, which can be transformed into a tablet, also packs a proper keyboard, a webcam, an anti-microbial coating while offering optional 3G or WiMax. Obviously, WiFi connectivity comes standard as is the water resistant keyboard.

Intel partners like Acer or Asus will ultimately manufacture the Classmate (should they choose to do it) and may adopt even high resolution displays.

ZDNet reports that the new Classmates will ship with customised ebook applications and has made the Classmate more touch friendly.

It wouldn't be surprising therefore if the Classmate is positioned directly against the iPad. Furthermore, we're wondering whether Intel will bring Meego to the Classmate sooner rather than later. Now that would be interesting.

Our Comments

The original Classmate was dreamt by the spin doctors at Intel after they rightly identified the XO laptop of the OLPC project as a potential threat to their traditional business. The resulting paradigm shift brought us the netbook and the original EEE PC 700 from Asus.

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