Acer’s dual core N550 Atom netbook leaked early

Sleek looking, but sorely lacking in features

THERE ARE ALREADY a few dual core netbooks on the market, like the Asus Eee PC 1215N which we wrote about a couple of days ago. However, Acer appears to be one of the first to market with a netbook that uses the first mobile dual core Atom processor, the N550. Sadly it seems like little else is exciting about the new Aspire One D255.

Netbooks really aren’t evolving to the degree that regular notebook have, as Intel doesn’t want them to compete with its more expensive platforms. As such it’s been this long for the first actual dual core mobile Atom processor to become a reality, although it’s not quite as good as it sounds. The N550 is clocked at a mere 1.5GHz making it the slowest Pineview based Atom processor out there in terms of raw GHz.

Intel’s already slow IGP also runs at half the speed compared to the desktop counterparts, although this is the same 200MHz as in the single core mobile Pineview processors. The N550 does, at least, have support for both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, albeit both at a mere 800MHz. The good news is that this CPU only has a TDP of 8.5W which is only 2W more than the Atom N455 and 4.5W less than the desktop D510 and D525. The N550 does carry all of the power saving features you’d want in a mobile processors, unlike netbooks based on desktop Atom processors.

With the exception of the CPU, the Aspire One D255 is a dull netbook, as it only has a 10.1-inch screen with 1024×600 resolution, 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, a 6-cell battery, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It also has three USB 2.0 ports, a pair of audio jacks, a memory card reader, a D-sub connector and an Ethernet port. They keyboard looks pretty decent and it has a large touch pad, but those are about the only real selling points.

If netbooks are going to have a fighting chance against not only Intel’s own low cost notebooks, but also against AMD’s latest “thin and light” offerings, the netbook manufacturers really need to consider fitting higher resolution screens and at least something or the other to differentiate themselves from the competition. Offering the same features as everyone else isn’t a good way of getting your products sold.S|A

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