Every Christmas, one major store posts a doorbuster deal that brings a notebook PC at a remarkably low price. Confronting a possible shrinkage of their netbook market due to the emergence of tablet popularity, Asus is preparing a netbook for a price at $200 by the summer solstice. Why wait for Christmas?
According to Taiwan based Digitimes, Asus may launch a 10-inch netbook this June for $200-$250 powered by Google Chrome OS or possibly Android 3.0, online rumors suggest. The device would have a single core Intel Atom chip and be targeted for people who want to use basic productivity applications or browse the Web.
If rumors become facts, the one advantage a Chrome OS netbook could have over tablets would be pricing, Android 3.0 tablets are still floating at prices similar to the iPad as we await June arrivals from Toshiba, LG, Acer and other companies. A $200 Netbook might put some gusto toward attracting people aiming at lower quality tablets in this price range.
The experience is more akin to a tablet than a PC. Chrome notebooks are built and optimized for the web, where you already spend most of your computing time.
So you get a faster, simpler and more secure experience without all the headaches of ordinary computers. Every Chrome notebook runs millions of web apps, from games to spreadsheets to photo editors and Google includes built-in security. Boot time is around 10 seconds.
The gamble for Asus is whether people are going to jump for a netbook when the world is going tablet crazy. It’s a nice try, especially as cheap notebooks for those returning to school in September. This will test whether people prefer apps over disc software regardless of tablet or netbook formats. If Asus does follow through by releasing this netbook, as rumors seem to indicate, it’ll be a great test to determine if netbooks indeed have a stable position with consumers at a new low price.