The new Intel Atom dual-core processor could be more than raising the bar for netbooks. One class of computer that appealed to me as a threat to the iPad was the “netvertible” or the convertible netbook. This was to have the same abilities as a netbook but also had a touchscreen that swivelled and folded over the keyboard like on other convertible notebooks and laptops.
There are a few issues that may put the brakes on this idea of a netbook competing with the Apple iPad. One is the lack of an e-book publishing system for the Windows platform that is robust enough to threaten the Apple iOS platform and the other is that netbook users are more likely to use their computers for producing content rather than just consuming it, an activity which the iPad is only good at. In this case, a writer, journalist or blogger could use a netbook as a “portable typewriter” for preparing written work on the road.
This may then allow the Atom chipset to be taken further to create a highly-competitive answer to the iPad and could also provide for “step-up” netbook computers for manufacturers who want to provide real differentiation in their netbook product lines. The chipset may also help with dethroning the StrongARM processors from the embedded / dedicated computing market like smartphones, medical equipment, NAS, Internet routers and the like; and extend the Intel Architecture in this class of device.