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Asus Planning $200 Chrome Netbook?

Asus, the company who pioneered the netbook revolution a few years ago, has plans to launch a new netbook in June, one which will be based on an Intel hardware coupled with either Android Honeycomb or Chrome OS.

Digitimes (opens in new tab) says that Asustek Computer wants to ship six million netbooks by the end of the year based on reports gathered from upstream component suppliers.

The launch of a cheaper netbook, one with a maximum selling price of $250, may help it achieve this goal especially as netbooks and laptops are facing their greatest challenge yet in the form of tablets.

Asus wants to reduce the average selling price of the device in order to avoid competing with branded tablets which generally carry a starting price of $400.

We are still puzzled by the fact that Asus would still choose to partner with Intel rather than adopt something cheaper or more frugal like an ARM-based platform.

It makes even more sense to adopt ARM hardware as Asus plans to use Honeycomb or Chrome OS rather than Windows and that it already has an ARM-based device, the EEE Pad slider in its portfolio.

We suspect that the netbook would be a refreshed equivalent of the original netbook, the EEE PC 701 that was launched a few years ago. A 7-inch 1024x768 screen, an Atom D425 (which is the cheapest CPU on Intel's pricelist), 1GB RAM, onboard storage, Wi-Fi and the usual features.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.