After spending the past few years left in the digital dust, the sometimes-lauded sometimes-loathed Celeron is getting a serious facelift. Come this January, the first dual-core Celerons will be released, starting with the E1000.

For years, dual-core has been the domain of the Pentium and the Core processors. This made perfect sense, as Intel wanted “dual-core” to be synonymous with performance, and they wanted Celeron to remain an “entry-level” option. Now, however, quad-core processors are becoming more common, if not cheap, and dual-core processors are dropping to entry-level price levels. Thus it makes perfect sense for Intel to bring a little more to the Celeron table.

The unit will be using an 800MHz FSB, much slower than the 1066MHz and 1333MHz speeds of its faster brother. The E1200 will operate at 1.6GHz and supposedly will only cost $53. $53 for a 1.6GHz CPU based on Core 2 technology? It definitely sounds good, limited cache aside.