Intel shows off next-gen Atom netbook with swively display

Intel is busy working on what is currently known as the Cedar Trail family of Atom processors that will appear in netbooks later this year, and the company was showing off a rather interesting concept design called Keeley Lake at Computex in Taipei to show us what the future could hold.

Intel has gone for a very unusual colour choice with its concept, opting for browns, off-whites and even some gold-ish trim, suggesting a heavily-inspired sci-fi homage going on.

And its keyboard is actually rather good, although the touch-pad less so, as the buttons are cut from the same piece of plastic as the rest of the pad - fiddly.

Surprisingly, the connectivity options are fairly basic, with only two USB 2.0 ports and a pair of audio jacks. However, Cedar Trail is Intel’s first Atom processor family to gain native HDMI output support and, thanks to a graphics core from UK-based Imagination Technologies, native HD video playback is now also supported.

Another first for this platform is support for Intel’s WiDi or Wireless Display technology, although it’s currently limited to streaming 720p content to your TV over Wi-Fi (rather than Full HD).

Intel is apparently working with a wide range of TV makers to get them to add native support for WiDi, so that consumers won’t need to attach a receiver box to their TVs in the same way Apple users do with Apple TV.

The screen on the netbook itself is a standard 10.1-inch affair, although as this is a swivel display, Intel has added support for touch input, albeit with only two points of sensitivity - the future is about poking not caressing.

Inside the new concept features a dual core 1.86GHz “high-end” Atom processor (to show what is capable) and Intel has shoved in 2GB of RAM for good measure.

We've also seen a similarly spec’ed model from Clevo, although in a much less attractive chassis, while a quick look around the Intel booth proves that it’s not just a one-trick pony.

There's also a couple of other models with slower processors at 1.66GHz and 1.5GHz, so it looks like Intel has a range of new Atom processors all gunning for release later this year.

To be fair, though, none of them stood out anywhere nearly as much.