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.
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.