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Why isn't Intel Releasing Studybook Tablets For Everyone?

Yesterday, Intel announced the Studybook tablet, aimed at schools and the education sector in general, and there are a few aspects that left us puzzled.

Firstly, the price. At $199, this tablet (opens in new tab) is a bargain not only for students but also for the rest of us. It has a high resolution 7-inch capacitive touchscreen (1,024 by 600 pixels), two cameras, a whopping 1GB RAM, a 1.2GHz processor, loads of ports and boots on Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Remove the plastic protection and you have a design that can win because of Intel's marketing clout.

Then there's the fact that Intel uses an Oak Trail processor. This Intel Atom CPU, the Z650, runs at 1.2GHz, has 512KB L2 cache and was launched last year. It has a TDP of 3W and is possibly the biggest cost center of the tablet (a similar processor, the Z520PT costs $50). Could Intel have gone for a cheaper option instead? Possibly.

At the end of the day, Intel has a great product that can sell millions and it can get its ODM partners to push it out within weeks. The only reason why Intel didn't go down that route is because the likes of Asus or Gigabyte would be left with wafer thin margins.

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 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.