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Intel Confirms $200 Android Notebooks ‘Coming soon’

When Asus announced their Android-powered Padfone which was the first smartphone cum tablet cum laptop, many of us thought that this was a sign that Android is finally merging tablets with laptops.  As the talk of the desktop computer nearing its extinction and sales of laptops plummeting by the day, the future of traditional desktops and laptops seemed uncertain.  But despite the popularity of Android in smartphones and tablets, it has not yet made its way to the mainstream computing field.  Until now.

Android Notebook

Google Setting the stage?

Last month, Google’s Pioneer of Android OS Andy Rubin stepped down and his position as the executive in charge of Android and his position taken by Sundar Pichai, the former executive of Chrome web browser, this move was seen as a clever way to finally bring Chrome and Android together.  Just last month Google unveiled their Chrome laptop, the Pixel, further complicating the perception that Android may be coming to Chrome books.  Intel today officially confirmed that that Android notebooks are indeed on the way, but of all the makers, who could have guessed they would be powered with Intel processors?

The Android notebooks will be selling for about $200 and may just be the first real Android laptops to hit the shelves.  Intel’s Chief product office Dadi Permutter told CNET that the $200 touchscreen computers that Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini mentioned last week would actually be the notebooks running on Android and with Intel chips.  Since Google’s Android OS has proven it can run on high end tablets and smartphones and thanks to its flexibility and the fact that it is a free to use OEM, Android is the best choice for manufacturers and it is no surprise that Intel chose Android for their upcoming notebooks rather than Microsoft’s Windows 8.

Processing power and availability

The new notebooks would be equipped with Intel’s mobile Atom processor and sources speculate that they may actually be tablets that come with a removable dock, almost like Asus’ padfone.  This means that technically, Intel will be in the tablet business but will also be bridging the gap between notebooks and tablets.  At the moment, there are no companies that have expressed interest in making purely Android notebooks.

Intel has not given a timeline of the Android laptops except for a hint by Perlmutter that the company expects the PC and notebook market to ‘pick up’ starting from the second half of 2013 and forward into 2013 as more new products are unveiled.  These ‘new products’ may include these low-priced Android notebooks.

Interestingly, most manufacturers are at cut throat competition to win over the tablet market with their wide range of Android powered tablets that range from 5.5 and 6 inch phablets to 10 inch tablets.  The prices Android tablets in the market now range between $100 and $500 on average and most come with processors more powerful than Intel’s Atom.  The question now is, since Intel has lost the smartphone and tablet processor wars to dominant players including Qualcomm, NVIDIA and Samsung, can it curve itself a new niche in the Android notebooks market?  Let us know what you think.




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  1. Bloated, you’ve got that right, I’ve been loyal to Microsoft for nearly a quarter of a century. But having to reboot from scratch 20 times in the last 6 months, well I have had enough and am moving to Ubuntu Linux on the consumer partitions. Android is more reliable on a fraction of the code, from the sounds of it Chrome is even better. Intel has economies of scale which has made life very difficult for AMD which I’m remaining loyal to, but ARM won’t go down easily. With desktop near power chips like Snapdragon 600/800, Tegra 4 etc., eg. T4 has 72 GPUs, 6X the very capable T3. Some kind of high powered dual boot Android / Chrome tablet that’s cheap, say 7″ with high resolution from 1080p to 4k at 11″. Here comes Google I/O, with Nexus and Chrome market leaders.

  2. Terry, there is some precedence here. Intel did make the specifications for the Schoolmate (aka Classmate) PC, which other companies produced on the basis of the Intel specs. These netbooks were very well thought out hardware for their time. Hopefully, Intel’s design muscle will produce similar results for the new Android books.

  3. I find it odd that they would choose Android for a notebook. I mean Linux OSs have been around for servers and desktops/laptops a lot longer than Android has been around. Maybe these would be tablet-like first and a laptop second, but we’ve already seen how the MS Surface has bombed with that sort of concept. The low cost would be the only advantage here, if they really can keep them as low as $200 (which I think will be tough).

  4. Larry, you can install chrome and configure it to “request desktop site”.
    I agree with you in relation to Flash support.
    For some flash sites I am forced to use the default Android browser.
    It woul be great to see something similar to the ASUS Transformer but cheaper and with “Intel Inside”.

  5. Thanks for that unbiased Assessment of Intel, Dadi. The fact is, Intel is still about 2 generations behind ARM in the low power proc market and not gaining any ground.

  6. Intel makes the best processors in the world. And they double the processing power of their products every 2 years with same or lower cost and power consumption. Which other industry has done that so far?

    Microsoft and other software makers piggybacked on Intel’s power to deliver bloated inefficient software. Intel has basically been covering their behinds.

    Sure, Intel had bad products in 2003-2005 but quickly changed tack. Intel now has parity on performance / power consumption with the best ARM based solutions. If Intel loses this war, it is because of being late to the eco-system rather than having sub standard products.

  7. Oh, boy! Yet another large screen Android device, like my useless 10.1″ Android tablet, for the webpages to interpret as a damned sellphone to send WAP webpages with limited content to! Just what we need. I went back to my Win7 laptop so I wouldn’t have to fight news and information websites to get the FULL website, WITHOUT trying to FORCE me to download another spyware “app” constantly booting itself and reporting me without my permission. I didn’t have to fight YouTube to see its Flash-based, full webpage on the Win7 laptop.

  8. Why should anyone who ever owned a Win Desktop want to hear from Intel again? They monopolized the processor business and made upgrading an annual expense. They controlled pricing along with MS. The outcome: Dell is a pile of junk on the floor of a trading room in downtown NYC.

  9. I find a couple issues with this article. First Intel is a chip manufacturer and very rarely makes a complete device. They partner with other manufacturers like dell, hp, Asus, etc and those manufacturers are the ones who decide what OS is going on the system. Intel had not chosen android but their partners have. And second the x86 architecture is far more reliable and faster than arm bared technology. Intel is synonymous with low clock speeds and high performance. The Intel chips have a wider bus. Where Intel lacks is energy efficiency but they are quickly catching up.

  10. Oh yeah, this is what we have been waiting for. Convertable tablets with processors and prices of between $200-500! Now the only question is which manufacturer will have the guts to make these things. Most tablets (except the Nexus 7) are still making some money for their manufacturers but when these new machines come along the profit margins will be even smaller. The manufactueres remember all too well that they almost lost their pants when they sold netbooks and they just may not want to produce low cost covertables running android. Although theoretically they could put in an I3 or an I5 into these machines and they would really rock and roll at a reasonable price so all is not lost for the hardware manufacturers. Long gone are the day when Intel sold their highest end chips for $2000+ and they went like hot cakes. Intel needs to get back into this market otherwise they are going going gone. If you haven’t noticed the price of Intel’s stock has hovered around the $22 mark since the year 2001 believe it or not. I belive that if these machines don’t take off Intel will never recover.


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