Today's dual-core netbooks are much faster than the first generation models that popularized the category. Even still, you don't buy a netbook for its raw power. They're too slow for power user chores that require a desktop-class processor, which is the price you pay for portability and affordability. But is Intel also paying a price in brand recognition for its Atom chip line that are nearly synonymous with netbooks and nettops?
DigiTimes seems to thinks so. According to the news and rumor site's industry sources, fading demand for netbooks and nettops built with Atom processors is way down compared to before, and the poor brand image of Atom processors is to blame. Because of this, Intel is planning to ditch its Atom brand once Cedar Trail rolls out, DigiTimes says. Intel says otherwise.
"There are no plans to change the Atom brand. We are on track to launch new Atom processors during the fourth quarter, with more new Atom processors during the first half of 2012," an Intel spokesman told DigiTimes.
A name change might not be the worst thing in the world for Intel, especially as it looks to extend its reach into handheld mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. These are both categories currently dominated by ARM, whose processors have a reputation of being super energy efficient while packing a performance punch.