To prevent netbooks from eating to notebook sales, Intel has imposed a 10.2-inch screen limit on netbooks powered by their N-series Atom processors. However, if rumors are true, Intel is said to be pondering a lift of said restriction and allow larger screen sizes on netbooks that use their N550 dual-core processor. This is the rationale behind the move.
Ars Technica - 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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