Intel Ships 1.66GHz Atom N280 Processor
The single-core chip can be paired up with a GN40 chipset that enables users to watch 720p high-definition video, which is a feat that many thought would be impossible on the low-cost laptops of the world. Company spokesman Bill Calder even asserted that the "capability to decode HD video should allow netbooks to better handle streaming video content." For those wondering, prior Atoms such as the N270 did not include hardware-based HD video decoders, making the newfangled N280 a must-have for those intent on watching material in the best possible quality.
The actual speed increase over the N270 (1.6GHz) is marginal; the N280 checks in at just 1.66GHz, though it does offer a quicker front-side bus (667MHz) while still only drawing around 2.5 watts of energy. Sadly, Intel failed to disclose what it was charging for the freshest Atom on the block, and as enthused as we are about the HD possibilities, we're already anxious to see a dual-core version hit the streets. Greedy, we know.