Intel Classmate PC to go touchscreen

It seems touchscreen has become the sine qua non for the new gadgets hitting the shelves in the coming months. Call it the iPhone effect if you will, but it is not just iPhone rivals, but even computers which are going touch feely with a vengeance. Now, Intel has given a complete makeover to what was once touted as the ultra low-cost laptop.

The company has unveiled its third generation Classmate touchscreen PC Tablet at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

The new Classmate is more of a touchscreen tablet, moving completely out of the realm of a low-cost laptop that was devised to take on MIT's (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) one laptop per child (OLPC).

The makeover will make Classmate more appealing to a wider cross-section of market segments.

With 8.9-inch touchscreen display that boasts 1024×600 resolution, the PC Tablet runs on Intels' Atom 270 1.6 GHz CPU, and will feature 1GB RAM, up to 8GB flash HDD, SD card slot, USB 2.0 port and even a webcam that can rotate 180 degrees!

The laptop will support battery life of up to 6.5 hours.

However, Intel did not reveal the pricing details. The new machines are expected to hit the market by end of this year.

The company has also announced two-core Atom processor at IDF.

Classmate was conceptualised by Intel three years ago as a low-cost PC project targeted at students and educational institutions in developing nations on the lines of MIT honcho Nicholas Negroponte's pet OLPC project.

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