PC World claims UK first with Atom netbook

Summary:The retailer claims to be the first in the country to offer a netbook using the Atom chip — the Advent 4211, a rebadged version of the MSI Wind

The UK computer-store chain PC World is claiming to be the first retail outlet in the country to offer a netbook using Intel's Atom processor.

The Advent 4211, a close relative of the MSI Wind, went on sale on Friday for £280 — around £60 to £70 cheaper than the Wind will be when it becomes available.

PC World's machine, also manufactured by MSI, comes only in a Windows XP flavour and has a 10.2-inch screen. It has a gigabyte of RAM, a built-in 1.3-megapixel webcam and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It uses an 80GB hard drive and a three-cell, 2200mAh battery.

These specifications tally with the Wind, but there are three key differences: the 4211 comes with YouCam webcam software preinstalled for easy uploading to YouTube; drive-based recovery for reinstalling Windows, if necessary, without needing an optical drive to do so; and the ability to create a recovery USB stick or memory card so Windows can be reinstalled even if the hard drive needs to be replaced.

"Netbooks are heralding a new era of mobile computing," said PC World's trading director, Jeremy Fennell. "The accessibility to the internet and portability of netbooks has seen extremely strong pre-sales through PC World online. The practicality of netbooks will no doubt see their continued growth and see them integrated into business and social lifestyles."

Fennell said netbooks — a term initially promoted by Intel to identify low-cost, low-performance, ultraportable laptops, and epitomised by the Asus Eee — are "far more convenient [than notebooks] when on the move and provide a full range of viewing functions required while out of the office or home, while the PC or laptop remains the prime storage hub for files and data." He added: "We are telling our staff and customers that the best way to think of them is: netbooks are for viewing; notebooks are for doing."

All major laptop manufacturers are producing netbook-style laptops, prompted by the unexpected success of the Eee. Intel's Atom processor is a new design of x86 chip, intended to provide desktop performance at a couple of watts.


 
The Advent 4211 is a rebadged version of the MSI Wind with a few differences: more software and a smaller price tag
 

Topics: Mobility, Smartphones

About

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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