Intel Adds Chinese Partner for Slate-style Netbooks

Intel added Chinese PC maker Tongfang as a partner for its Convertible Classmate netbooks, which have screens that can swivel around and close over the keyboards for use as slates.

Tongfang is the second Chinese company after Hanvon, a device maker known for its e-readers, working on netbooks using the Intel design.

Intel is working with both Tongfang and Hanvon to launch netbooks with a new version of the Convertible Classmate design, which adds e-reading and other functions, Intel said Tuesday. Intel announced the new design last month.

Intel has worked with Chinese schools on a pilot program using its Classmate netbooks. Intel bills the devices as suitable for students, who could type on the netbook's keyboard for homework and then collapse it into a slate for a function like e-reading. The devices are also a reference design of a low-cost netbook for PC makers.

Two million Classmate PCs have shipped worldwide, according to Intel. Intel has said other manufacturers who will offer Convertible Classmate netbooks include CTL, Equus and M&A in the U.S., as well as CMS in the U.K. and NEC in France.

(Dan Nystedt in Beijing contributed to this story.)

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