Will Asus Counteract iPad 2 With ARM-Based Chromebook?

Before Google's official announcement of the Chromebook yesterday, industry sources based in Taiwan said that computer giant Asus would bring out a killer product that may stop the rise of the iPad 2; we were therefore disappointed that it was not even a launch partner for Google's Chromebook party.

But given that it was Asus who actually launched the form factor and the netbook revolution a few years ago (coupled with the fact that it works with some of Taiwan's leading ODMs), we wouldn't be surprised if that killer product which should be out fairly soon, will be a Chromebook, the first that would run on ARM.

The current cheapest Chromebook is the Wi-Fi only Acer model with an RRP of $349. Much of that price is shouldered by the chipset and processor, both from Intel and which account for between a quarter and a third of the bill of materials.

Given that the N570 is the most expensive of all Atoms at $86 and that the NM10 costs around $20 (based on previous prices), leaving Intel out of the equation would mean a smaller BoM and even cheaper Chromebooks, possibly under the $299 threshold.

The Nvidia Tegra 2 in comparison, costs around $21, and the price can be driven down even further by switching to a more integrated solution from Qualcomm for example.