Cheap as chips laptops to replace desktops everywhere

Just as luggables were consigned to the tech cemetery, it looks as if desktops, at least in the ultra cheap segment, will soon disappear.

Intel's latest platform, known as Shelton, is set to debut in Q3 2008, according to a report by Digitimes. The Taiwanese wire wrote that the single core processor, known as Diamondville, would start at 1.6GHz with a power consumption of 3.5w which would provide with a battery life of up to 4 hours, even on cheap 4-cell batteries.

The platform, which is set to start at around GBP 150, will include a DirectX 9 graphic modules - compatible with Windows XP, Solid State Drive support, a Wi-Fi module, a 7 or 8-inch TFT panel and support for DDR2 memory.

The surprising success of the Asus EEE PC has convinced a number of big firms like MSI, Gigabyte, Dell and HP to start designing ultra cheap portable laptops which could also eventually spell the end of expensive sub laptops as well.

Intel is also planning to launch a dual core version of the Diamondville in 2009 as and when the market requests it.

VIA, one of Intel's main rivals, stands to lose the most as the Diamondville platform is set to be more powerful than VIA's current CPU platform while having a similar power consumption.