April 28, 2013
Intel Prepping Line Of $200 Android-Powered Laptops
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Intel executives have officially confirmed the company´s plans to release a line of touch-screen notebooks that will use Google´s Android operating system and will be priced starting at approximately $200.According to Android Authority´s Chris Smith, the computers would be powered by Intel´s Atom processor and will likely be tablets that ship with a keyboard dock, allowing them to be used as laptops when necessary.
A launch window for the devices has not been revealed. However, Smith noted Intel Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer David “Dadi” Perlmutter has previously said he expects a surge in the PC market as unspecified new products go on sale during the second half of this year and into 2014.
Brooke Crothers of CNET reported Saturday Intel´s Android-powered laptops will range in price from $200 to $500, and that the company is also “pushing hard” into Android smartphones. The Santa Clara, California-based chip manufacturer is also said to be developing pure tablets that run using Google´s mobile OS.
Intel´s new commitment to Android devices comes as no surprise to Rodge at The Droid Guy.
“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,” he said.
However, Perlmutter has also revealed to PC World writer Jared Newman there is a shot Intel´s Windows-based laptops could also reach the $200 price point. That, however, “depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8,” Perlmutter said, adding computers utilizing the Microsoft OS could come at a “slightly higher price point.”
Previous reports have suggested Microsoft is open to cutting licensing costs for smaller, touchscreen-capable notebooks, Newman said. A lower cost for the OS, combined with lower resolution requirements and low-end Inter processors, could drastically reduce the cost of some Windows 8 devices released in the second half of 2013.
The CNET writer also explained the Android-powered devices will still likely win a potential price war, due to the fact Google does not charge licensing fees for Android. Still, he wonders whether or not Google´s OS would even be a good fit for Intel laptops, as other companies have tried using it in the past with only moderate success.
“To make Android more practical as a laptop operating system, Google needs to make some tweaks,” Newman said. “Although Android supports external mice, the operating system and apps aren't really optimized for trackpad input. The things you'd expect from a trackpad, like right-click context menus and hover-over functionality, aren't supported.
“Android would also need more desktop-like features, such as a version of Chrome that supports windowing and a more robust version of Google Drive,” he added. “Besides, Google already has a notebook operating system in Chrome OS, and already it's much better suited for productivity than Android. It fully supports trackpads and other pointing devices and it offers the full desktop Web.”