We've been seeing blurry cellphone pics and hearing rumors for weeks, but Intel is finally showing off the next generation of its Classmate PC at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai.
The new Classmate is, as we expected, the same machine we saw a few weeks ago in some surreptitiously taken photos, and referred to at the time by Intel's generic NetBook platform name. Then, last week, we learned that one of the companies selling the new Classmate would be a laptop vendor named Computer Technology Link, or CTL, and they were going to call it the 2go PC (Intel is creating the basic reference design, while OEMS in different regions will manufacture the systems).
The Classmate is designed for students, and Andrew Chien, an Intel vice president and director of Intel Research said in a statement, "Only 5 percent of the world's children today have access to a PC or to the Internet. Education is one of the best examples of how technology improves our lives."
The new version of the Classmate (we looked at the original last year) trades the 2GB SSD drive for a more traditional 30GB hard drive, and increases the display from 7 to 9-inches -- changes intended to appeal to what the company calls "mature" markets, which means the U.S. and other Western countries, where it should sell for about $400, depending on the configuration.
We got to spend a few days checking out one of the new Classmate PCs last week, and you can check out our full review and video for more details.