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ASUS, Intel readying sub-$250 netbook to steer clear of iPad

updated 11:05 pm EDT, Wed March 16, 2011

ASUS netbook may hit 200-250 to dodge iPad

New tips from part suppliers late Wednesday maintained that ASUS and Intel are planning a very low-cost netbook that would help it minimize the impact of tablets like the iPad. The netbook would cost no more than $250 and could cost as little as $200. Much of the cost savings would come from the choice of OS, Digitimes heard: the netbook would run Chrome OS or even Android 3.0, and as a result drop the costly Windows 7 license.

It isn't clear which of the two platfoms would be used, although Chrome OS is more likely. ASUS had been identified early on as a Chrome OS partner and is believed to have such a netbook in the works for the second half of the year, but Intel has also been rumored to be making a large push for x86-based Android devices at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing this April. The goal would be to focus on tablets, but ASUS has been regularly experimenting with crossover Android form factors like the Eee Pad Transformer.

Android 3.0 is so far still focused on tablets and isn't known to have mouse input, but it's more suited to netbooks through its emphasis on apps at the same 10-inch screen size as most netbooks. ASUS itself has also promised netbooks with mobile platforms this year.

Regardless of the OS choice, the netbook would be meant to create a clear price gap between conventional designs and tablets, which start at $300 for budget models from name brands but scale up to $499 for the iPad 2 and beyond. The division would help ASUS meet its target of selling six million netbooks in 2011 by preventing some from being easily tempted by tablets. ASUS' long-time rival Acer has so far resisted price cuts and instead tried to deny any effect from the iPad and its kin as long as possible, even insisting that Apple wouldn't be a problem this month without anticipating the iPad 2.

Others also dismissed the effect for months and did little to drop prices, but it has been more of an issue in 2011 as the effect became clear. Microsoft itself has noticed a drag on Windows without a viable tablet OS of its own.

by MacNN Staff



  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    the race to the bottom continues!

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not a race to the bottom

    It's just gravity

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969



    the article says 'were' not 'are'

    so does that mean they dropped it

  1. Joe05

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How nice of Intel to save us from the ipad, I predict that this venture will go nowhere.
    A sub pare experience with a sub par OS isn't a great selling point.

    As for the inherent costs In a netbook, the CPU is the most expensive part of a laptop followed by the screen, motherboard and so on, the OS in this case Windows 7 only costs around 25 to 30 dollars or less depending on the OEM. Yet its the one part of the system that's fluid and can be improved and upgraded .

    It's a new world where ARM style chips or becoming more prevalent in running mobile OS's, not too surprised to see them making these kinds of moves.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cost of Windows

    "...the OS in this case Windows 7 only costs around 25 to 30 dollars or less depending on the OEM"

    Even if it is that low, it is still more than 10% of the expected RETAIL price.

    The likely fate of this device will be running counterfit/pirated Windows throughout the developing/undeveloped world...

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Does anybody have a clue?

    This is a project destined for failure.

    Chrome is far from being a mature product. And as good as Android is, I don't see it working well on a laptop.

    The people who buy computers want Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. They don't want software that just reads and writes the file formats...they want the real thing. As good as Libre Office and Open Office are, the majority of consumers want the Microsoft product (regardless of good or bad).

    And at that price point, the choice of CPU has got to be something with mediocre performance.

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You got that right. Looking at a Win-dohs netbook for my wife as she needs Win-dohs to access some Chinese Academic database articles. I am constantly prepping classes on My MacBook Pro, so she can't use Win-dohs on that, and her iBook isn't up to running Win-dohs (managed to run a copy using Q emulator, but it was mindnumblingly slow; too bad I was hoping to do that and talk her into an iPad).

    Long story short, all the netbooks sold, even at the big department store chains, are running pirate OSes.

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