Intel Confirms Upcoming $200 Android Notebooks

Intel executive vice president and chief product officer Dadi Pelmutter has confirmed with CNET that $200 devices using the company's "Bay Trail" Atom SoCs will mostly consist of notebooks based on Google's Android platform, not Windows 8. Solutions with the same price point and Microsoft's latest Windows release will actually depend on Microsoft itself.

"We have a good technology that enables a very cost-effective price point," Perlmutter said. "[The price of Windows 8 laptops] depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8. It may be a slightly higher price point."

Naturally OEMs may favor Android because it's an open-source platform and Google does not charge a licensing fee. Microsoft, on the other hand, is supposedly reducing its licensing fee in response to the lackluster demand for Windows 8 products. Sources claimed in March that the Redmond company has offered a Windows 8 and Office bundle for some touch-screen systems at a cost of $30, instead of $120.

What type of form factors these low-priced Atom-based Android "notebooks" will arrive in is unknown at this point, but there's a good chance they'll be sold as tablets with optional keyboard covers and docks. The more costly "hybrid" models will likely feature built-in keyboards that allow the devices to transform into a notebook or tablet, depending on the particular need.

Pelmutter also said that devices running Intel's mainstream "Haswell" Core processor could sell as low as $399 to $499. Again, depending on Microsoft, these will either sport Android or Windows 8 Pro – probably the former OS given its lack of a licensing fee. Similar Windows 8 Pro solutions with Core processors may be offered at a slightly higher price point.

The biggest roadblock Microsoft has seemingly faced with Windows 8 thus far has been a lack of sufficient touchscreen solutions. Although touch panel prices are falling, they're not dropping fast enough, thus the number of Windows 8 touch-based non-tablet solutions has been both limited and somewhat pricey. The new Modern UI interface, which mainly relies on touch, and the lack of the familiar Start button/menu has also been a major deterrent.

Due to the declining PC market and a possible apprehension towards upgrading to a redesigned Windows platform, it's not surprising that OEMs may be turning to Android, Chrome OS and even Ubuntu to offer cheaper solutions that don't come with a licensing fee. As a chip maker, it's vital to Intel that Atom and Core-based OEM partners take on these alternate platforms to generate sales where Windows 8 is not.

Perlmutter also told CNET that Intel plans to ship data-only multimode multimode LTE modems by mid-year, and multimode voice over LTE and data modems later in 2013. In 2014, Intel will finally catch up with Qualcomm and Nvidia by offering a SoC with a built-in LTE component. Currently Intel only offers a standalone single-mode LTE chip developed in-house.

  • damianrobertjones
    I see the following...
    Eventually, due to all the kids out there, Android will literally be in every single home and Windows may become something of the past. Once Windows is out of the way Google will start to charge for Android and all the oems will WISH that they'd stayed with Microsoft. You should see how much Google charge for their DAMN services! Oh well.
  • Since when did Jesus worry about making money on the internet?
  • dimar
    10725134 said:
    Since when did Jesus worry about making money on the internet?
    Since he couldn't believe that anybody able to profit $5667 in 4 weeks on the computer. LoL
  • InvalidError
    > The biggest roadblock Microsoft has seemingly faced with Windows 8 thus far has been a lack of sufficient touchscreen solutions.

    The lack of touch-based devices may be one thing but the people's lack of interest in touch-based interaction on the desktop is likely an even bigger thing. I most likely would not use touch-based features on a desktop OS even if I got paid for it since it would be an ergonomic nightmare and fingerprints on the screen would annoy the heck out of me.

    No point in complaining/commenting about the lack of devices when most people likely do not want them in the first place. Imagine Microsoft forcing people to use touch interface and then getting class-action lawsuits 5-10 years down the road from people with health insurance claim for touch-induced RSI.

    Personally, from a health/safety point of view, I consider Win8's touch-based desktop failure as a long-term blessing. We have enough of wrist/forearm injuries from keyboard/mouse, we do not need to add the whole arm and shoulders to the mix with desktop touch.
  • digiex
    "Once Windows is out of the way Google will start to charge for Android ..."
    Android is Linux, and it's "free".
  • boiler1990
    Why pack an Intel processor into an Android PC? There are more and more software companies making their products Linux-compatible, and Android on a Haswell CPU makes no sense.
  • sykozis
    10725332 said:
    "Once Windows is out of the way Google will start to charge for Android ..."
    Android is Linux, and it's "free".

    Linux is free, yes, but that doesn't stop Google from being able to charge for Android and ChromeOS. Google is free to charge for their own non-GPL source code.
  • marclee37
    good move for Google and inlel, keep help improving the computing world please. I am tired of the pricy limited function close sourced Microsoft products for long time.
    Unfortunately is, still too many general users think Microsoft products is the best.
    google is run by group of smart people. they would not be stupid to charge their products unreasonably and move their users away. Google drive is free to use for 5GB or under usage, charge small amount for higher storage. Gmail is probably free to use for next few decades. they know how to build a business model that won't anger users but can make good money.
  • abbadon_34
    Opened the paper today and saw fry's lenovo $239 amd e2 win8 laptop. Why settle for an android/chrome os , even at the low end? May that $50 could buy a small upgrade instead of the os, but I'd take a full windows laptop over android any day (even with win8).
    Seems to me it more a wireless/LTE/contract dupe instead of a real computer. Like the old "free pc" of a decade ago, crap hardware + bloatware + years of contractual finance/internet charges for the ignorant and/or poor(credit) customers.
  • Timmy225
    Nice to see the MS monopoly slowly start to crumble. $200 sounds tempting, wipe anything from Google (as evil as MS) from it and install Linux, Sweet.