Leaked Dell roadmap points to mid-year release of a new 11.6 inch ‘Argos’ notebook running Intel’s CULV ultra-low voltage silicon.
Dell’s next netbook looks more and more like a notebook – but one that’ll contribute to the blurring of lines in the busy ‘thin and light’ market.
An 11.6 inch model codenamed ‘Argos’ appeared on a slide from what was claimed to be Dell’s netbook roadmap
and allegedly leaked to German Web site netbooknews.de
The slide’s inclusion of a 10 inch netbook codenamed ‘Bear’ and also tagged as the Mini 10v received most of the attention for its role as a lower-priced ‘value’ variant of the current Inspiron Mini 10 with a May delivery date.
But among the Mini 9, Mini 10 and Mini 12 – all netbooks and all using Intel’s Atom processors – one model was the odd one out. Perched up the top in the same ‘ultramobile’ category as the Mini 12, with a ship date of Q2/Q3, the Argos was listed with ‘ULV Cel/Pent’ as its powerplant.
This was a bit of a puzzle. After all, why would you want to put a Celeron into a netbook? But now that Intel has revealed that its Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV, or simple ‘Ultra’) processors won’t all be based on the current Core 2 architecture, the ‘ULV Cel/Pent’ reference makes more sense.
By allowing the CULV brand to cut across microarchitectures Intel can adapt one of its ULV Celeron M designs, which are built on the Pentium M-derived Core microarchitecture, as the entry-level chip.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Argos will be kitted out with second-hand silicon – if Intel positions of its single-engine ULV Core 2 Solo as the mid-range then that would make more sense for a thin and light notebook, given that processor’s tiny package size compared – but either powerplant definitely points to the Argos as being a CULV notebook rather an an Atom-powered netbook.
The rest of the Argos specs are in keeping with an up-market netbook for the ultra-mobile set: an 11.6 inch screen, 2GB of RAM and a hard drive listed as 160GB+. The OS specified is Vista, which makes sense because Microsoft doesn’t allow OEMS to load Windows XP onto any netbook with more than 1GB of RAM or a hard drive greater than 160GB.
So while Argos will carry the same Inspiron Mini branding as its stablemates we expect to see a fully-fledged notebook rather than a netbook. That said, these days it’s becoming increasingly hard to tell the difference...