Intel may open door for bigger netbooks

One of the ways that Intel has kept netbooks from cannibalizing notebook sales is by imposing a limitation on netbook screen sizes—netbooks that use the Atom N series have been restricted to screen sizes no bigger than 10.2 inches. But rumor has it that Intel will lift this restriction in the second half of the year, and allow larger screens on netbooks that use the dual-core N550.

This move isn't too surprising, given that netbook sales have started to level off as a percentage of mobile sales. Intel is probably looking for a way to keep netbooks interesting, and offering more form factors is one of them. It's also the case that Intel has been pitching the Pine Trail + Broadcom CrystalHD combo as a way to do 1080p video on a netbook—and 1080p certainly makes more sense for larger screens than it does on a sub-10" panel.

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