AMD has strongly expressed doubts about the netbook world before. When its Athlon Neo processor was used in the HP Pavilion DV2, AMD decided that there was little to be found in the budget laptop category and that it had no intentions of developing a netbook CPU.
Apparently that’s now all going to change. Gateway announced the LT3103u netbook at $400 using – you guessed it – an AMD Athlon 64 processor.
PC Mag explained how crucial this is:
The Athlon 64 L110 is rated at 1.2 GHz, with 512 MB of L2 cache and support for an 800-MHz front-side bus. The Intel Atom N280, meanwhile, is rated at 1.6 GHz, with a 512 MB L2 cache and support for a 667-MHz FSB. The upshot? These two netbook processors will be going head to head.
And that’s not all. The LT3103u ships with 2 GB of memory, making it a powerful contender against the 1 GB standard in the industry. Even the graphics module, an ATI Radeon X1270, is better at tasks like HD video decoding than Intel’s chipset.
The new Gateway netbook comes in glossy red or black with metallic accents. It’s a tad heavy at 3.1 lbs, which can be credited to the 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 pixel screen. The display can support up to 720p HD video.
The LT3103u has a full sized keyboard and 3 USB ports. Other features include a hefty 250 GB HDD, 3 USB ports, an integrated webcam and multi-card reader.
Gateway has never before delivered a machine capable of competing with the major netbook models, but the LT3103u may just be it. When benchmarks and battery tests are released we’ll know how seriously to take Gateway’s netbook, so check back soon for more info.