New Classmate PC unveiled

Intel has taken the wraps off its latest Classmate laptop, reports David Fearon at CeBIT in Hannover.

The model on show was a reference design, which as with previous versions will be rebadged and arrive on the market via third-party vendors. It looks a little more svelte than its predecessor, with a carry-handle that folds flat and a thinner appearance, despite the extra bulk that a swiveling hinge arrangement brings.

Technical specifications, unsurprisingly, are an Atom processor, 1GB RAM, and either a standard hard disk or an SSD, as opposed to integrated flash storage. A resistive touchscreen and stylus along with Windows 7 allow for handwritten notes.

New design touches include dual headphone sockets for children in the classroom sharing a single machine. There’s also an accelerometer that allows the machine to sense when it’s being used in portrait or landscape format and adjust the display accordingly.

Finally, the common problem of the stylus being immediately lost has been addressed with the ability to attach it to the side of the case on a retractable cord.

Intel wouldn’t give any pricing details, but says the new model should be available in April. It will replace the existing convertible tablet model, while the existing non-convertible version will remain on sale.

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