Atom-powered Classmate PC coming soon

A new version of Intel's Classmate PC goes into production next month, replacing the Celeron M with an Atom chip.

Intel detailed plans for an updated version of its Classmate PC on Tuesday, swapping out the laptop's older Celeron M chip for the Diamondville version of the Atom processor.

The Atom-based Classmate PCs will go into production in July, said Lila Ibrahim, general manager of emerging markets at Intel.

The 1.6GHz Atom chip gives the rugged little laptops more power. "It's about a one-and-a-half times performance increase," she said, adding the chips also save power, which increases battery life on the Classmate PC to as much as 6.5 hours.

Intel announced the availability of Diamondville on Tuesday at the Computex exhibition in Taipei, following weeks of build-up that saw pictures of systems based on the chip leaked to bloggers around the world.

Intel unveiled the revamped Classmate PC at the Intel Developer Forum in April. The design unveiled at that time is sleeker and offers a bigger screen than the first model.

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