Intel unveils second-gen Classmate PC

Intel unveils second-gen Classmate PC

New 'netbook' to help developing areas

Intel has taken the wraps off its second-generation Classmate PCs at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai.

The revamped range is designed to be an affordable, fully functional, rugged, internet-centric computer platform, which Intel is calling 'netbook'.

The new blueprint is the latest innovation and educational tool for parents and teachers to use technology, computers and internet access to better educate students around the world, according to the company.

"Only five per cent of the world's children have access to a PC or the internet," said Andrew Chien, vice president of Intel's Corporate Technology Group and director of Intel Research.

"We have seen how technology helps teachers create fun learning experiences more efficiently. We have also been touched by children's excitement when they are inspired by technology.

"The Intel-powered Classmate PC is one of the ways we support the IT industry in spreading the benefits of technology in education for children around the world."

Intel said that more than 80 software and hardware vendors, content providers, educational services providers and local OEMs have been working with the company to develop a complete infrastructure that supports the new devices.

The second-generation Classmate PCs run on a Celeron M 900MHz processor, but future versions will be built with the Intel 1.6GHz Atom processor.

The Classmate can access 802.11 b and g Wi-Fi as well as mesh networks, and has a 7in or 9in LCD screen, 512MB memory and an integrated webcam.

The battery is now removable and is available in four and six cell options. The six cell battery should last for five hours, according to Intel.

Storage varies from 1GB, 2GB or 4GB solid state Flash drives and there is an option for a 30GB hard drive version. Storage can be expanded through the available SD slot.

The PCs are also designed to run Windows XP and variants of Linux. Certain versions will be pre-loaded with Classroom Collaboration and Access Management software. Software and content will be available in more than eight languages.

The cost and availability of the new Classmate will vary depending on configuration, location and vendor.