Intel and Microsoft have put some weird restrictions on netbooks running the Intel Atom in the past, resulting in a massively annoying lack of ingenuity in spec combinations for most machines. Some of us dared hope that the Intel Atom N470 CPU would take it easy on OEMs this time around but, unfortunately, it looks like our hopes have been squandered.
On the other hand, the restrictions have eased up for the new netbook CPU. Machines running the Intel Atom N450 can only have 2 GB of RAM, but N470 netbooks can run up to 2 GB DDR2 memory. Other guidelines suggest “a 160GB hard-drive (or 20-32GB SSD) and Moblin as the OS.” Moblin, eh? That could be interesting.
Naturally, manufacturers will also get a choice between Windows XP Home and Windows 7, provided they keep display sizes between 7- and 10.2-inches and keep MRSP between $299 and $349. That price range leaves very little room for manufacturers to make more interesting machines, so if you expected something new from Intel and Microsoft come the release of the Intel Atom N400 series, you’re going to be disappointed.