updated 11:40 pm EDT, Wed April 2, 2008
Intel 2G Classmate PC
Intel tonight used the second day of its Developer Forum to launch the second generation of its Classmate PC. Considered one of the first to fit Intel's own "netbooks" class of portables, the new version gains a larger 9-inch screen as well as a more mature look than its predecessor. The new version is also much more friendly to media with a built-in webcam as well as new options for either 4GB of flash storage or a 30GB conventional hard drive; the former alone doubles the storage of the original, Intel notes. Updating the sequel also supplies mesh networking that gives the new notebook the ability to share files on a local network with other Classmates without depending on a central hub.
The 900MHz Celeron M, maximum 512MB of RAM, and choice of either Linux or Windows XP translate from the previous version. A future upgrade should use the faster Atom processor but has not been announced.
Unlike the One Laptop Per Child project's XO notebook, the system will also be available on a more permanent basis to Americans, Intel adds. The system is rebranded as the 2Go PC and will be sold by CTL through Amazon. Specifications should be virtually identical to the Classmate with the exception of the hard drive, which is boosted to 40GB in the 2Go. Amazon begins carrying the PC on Thursday for $400.