Report: Asus, Intel prepping a $200-250 netbook

Atom-powered netbooks have never faced such stern competition. With affordable Fusion ultraportables pushing from one side and tablets exerting pressure from the other, the only way left may be down—down the pricing scale, that is. DigiTimes reports that Asus and Intel are planning to unleash a netbook that will retail for a scant $200-250 this June.

Basing its story on a tip from sources at “upstream component makers,” DigiTimes adds that this uniquely cheap netbook may forgo Windows 7 Starter for a more budget-appropriate operating system: either Chrome OS or Android 3.0. Considering Google has been distributing those Cr-48 development laptops for over three months now, Chrome OS’s retail debut can’t be too far off. An Eee PC with a bargain-basement price tag could make a nice home for it.

I don’t see Android 3.0 as much of a netbook OS, though; its flashy interface is clearly tailored for slates. And I’m guessing $200-250 is too cheap for a netbook with a touch screen.

DigiTimes says Asus is hoping for six million netbook shipments this year. Don’t let that figure fool you into thinking the company is betting it all on netbooks. As we saw at CES, Asus also has a top-to-bottom line of tablets in the works, the cheapest of which is supposed to hit stores later this year with a $399 price tag.

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    • ekul
    • 12 years ago

    512 is a little on the low side but 1 GB of RAM is more than enough to browse the web and check email in Ubuntu

    • sweatshopking
    • 12 years ago

    I agree. ubuntu is a better choice, but it likes more than the (likely) 512-1gb of ram.

    • Bombadil
    • 12 years ago

    Refurbished Eee PC 1000Hs have been selling for this amount for quite some time and have better quality than most notebooks being sold today.

    • etrigan420
    • 12 years ago

    Doesn’t sound any less functional than all of the other atom based netbooks… :shrug:

    • blastdoor
    • 12 years ago

    $200 seems kind of expensive for something that is little more than an ad delivery /personal information extraction device. Seems to me like google ought to be paying people to use these things, not the other way around.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 12 years ago

    I seriously doubt that’s below cost. The original Atom netbooks were going for $200-250, and the new ones are cheaper to make. A chunk of that was still the Windows license.

    • Farting Bob
    • 12 years ago

    Looks to me like a prime candidate for ChromeOS retail launch. Could see Google offering to pay ASUS some money to be able to sell it below cost to make it look more attractive to buyers.

    • dpaus
    • 12 years ago

    I think Ubuntu would be a better choice, unless they’re planning on it having a touchscreen too (incredibly unlikely at that price point)

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