Netbooks based on Intel's next-generation Pine Trail platform are set to launch right after CES 2010, on January 11, according to Digitimes. This doesn't change time frames from what was previously expected, but puts a firm date on when customers will actually be able to buy one of these devices. A soft-launch could take place later this month, with a raft of netbooks featuring the new N450 Atom processor hitting the CES show floor in Las Vegas.

Codenamed Pineview, the new chip will give you roughly the same performance as the 1.66GHz N280 while consuming less power – around 20% less according to Fudzilla. Bear in mind that these savings refer to the Pine Trail core components, not the entire netbook, so don't expect a massive increase in battery life.

The new platform integrates a microprocessor core, graphics processor, and north bridge functionality into a single piece of silicon, while a separate Tiger Point chipset will handle I/O operations. Besides drawing less power, the reduced number of chips should also result in a smaller package and overall cheaper platform, which won't necessarily translate into lower-cost netbooks. Prices are expected to remain at around $400 - $500.