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$200 Intel Android Laptops Are Coming 319

Posted by Soulskill
from the race-to-zero dept.
symbolset writes "Outbound Intel CEO Paul Otellini created quite a stir when mentioning that touchscreen laptops would reach a $200 price point. CNET is now reporting in an interview with Intel chief product officer Dadi Perlmutter that these touchscreen laptops will run Android on Intel Atom processors at first. 'Whether Windows 8 PCs hit that price largely depends on Microsoft, he said. "We have a good technology that enables a very cost-effective price point," Perlmutter said. The price of Windows 8 laptops "depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8. It may be a slightly higher price point." ... Perlmutter didn't specify what the Android notebooks will look like, but it's probable they'll be convertible-type devices. He also noted that he expects the PC market to pick up in the back half of the year and heading into 2014 as new devices become available."
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$200 Intel Android Laptops Are Coming

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  • bets? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by waddgodd (34934) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @02:17AM (#43572279) Homepage Journal

    Anyone want to bet that Microsoft will price themselves right out of the $200 atom market? I'm betting that $200 will be right about the price point for just the OS, so unless Intel wants to give away their atom touchscreen lappies, they'll remain android, or possibly get a linux option.

    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      As long as it's not locked down to for example only run Android I'm happy.

      • Re:bets? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by James_Duncan8181 (588316) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @02:47AM (#43572365) Homepage
        Ubuntu's Mir server will work with Android SurfaceFlinger drivers, so assuming root can be gained there's instant hardware and graphics support.
        • by MrHanky (141717)

          Is that even relevant for the next generation of Atom? Bay Trail is supposedly going to use the Ivy Bridge graphics core. It's going to be on the market before Mir.

    • Re:bets? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Sunday April 28, 2013 @03:03AM (#43572409)

      PC manufacturers won't bother - the $200 price point was not appealing the first time around. There was absolutely no money to be made then, just like now. Unless Intel is shovelling parts at the OEMs for free, there's no way.

      Hell, before the iPad came out, you want to know what happened to the $300 netbooks? They became $400 and $500 netbooks! The $300 ones were basically clearances or older models that haven't moved because they were tiny 7" screens or other compromises that people didn't like.

      Even Chromebooks are compromised to get them to that price point, mostly by going ARM.

      At this point, the question of $200 will depend on what crap they can cut in order to meet the price - most likely you'll see the return of crappy screens (ye olde 800x480), tiny RAM (2GB or so if you're lucky), and miniscule hard drives (8GB SSDs). All of which would make a Windows 8 experience pretty terrible.

      A $200 retail laptop would have to have $150 tops in parts (the $50 is eaten as retailer profit, manufacturer profit, shipping and warehousing, etc). A cheap spinning rust hard drive is probably $50 for 500GB, way too expensive. 8GB of SSD storage from a thumbdrive, say, is cheap - $5. Then there's RAM, CPU, battery, and all the other pieces which quickly eat up that BOM cost.

      • Re:bets? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JonBoy47 (2813759) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @03:34AM (#43572471)
        Interestingly, Google is currently selling an Acer Chromebook, using a dual-core Celeron chip and 320GB hard drive for $199 retail. It would appear the hardware would be Windows-capable if you wanted to bother. The first round of $200 netbooks flopped because they didn't change the paradigm. As Steve Jobs said in the iPad launch keynote "They're just cheap laptops". It didn't help that mainstream consumers had never heard of, and were wary of Linux. OEM's fixed this problem by adding Windows, which also required more memory, rust-based storage, a bigger battery to power it all and a larger casing to fit it all in. By the time this Windows tax was baked into the price of these second generation netbooks, the price was within spitting distance of a "real" notebook. Mainstream customers just ponied up the extra $50 to get a real laptop with a much bigger screen, decent keyboard and a DVD burner.
        • Not in DNA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tuppe666 (904118) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @06:49AM (#43573037)

          As Steve Jobs said in the iPad launch keynote "They're just cheap laptops"

          Except the quote was this ""They're slow, they have low quality displays and they run clunky old PC software. They're not better than a laptop at anything, they're just cheaper: they're just cheap laptops."

          The new generation of $200 laptops are fast, high quality displays...and run Android.

          In context of price mentioned in this quote, Android has already surpassed Apple in the tablet market by producing better value tablets. Perhaps price is something Jobs should not have dismissed so easily.

          Ironically younger Jobs agrees with me "What ruined Apple was not growth They got very greedy Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years. What this cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.”"

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Ironically younger Jobs agrees with me "What ruined Apple was not growth They got very greedy Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years. What this cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.â"

            What's really ironic is that NeXT got very greedy and priced themselves right out of the market.

          • The new generation of $200 laptops are fast, high quality displays...and run Android.

            So Jobs was right again. "They're slow, they have low quality displays and they run clunky Android software. They're not better than a laptop at anything, they're just cheaper: they're just cheap laptops."

            Ironically younger Jobs agrees with me "What ruined Apple was not growth They got very greedy Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years. What this cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.â"

            Says the basement dweller to the most successful tech company there is.

        • All the Intel-based Chromebooks are just rebadged Windows laptops. The only difference is the BIOS/EFI firmware needed to boot ChromeOS.

          Anandtech's review of the Intel-based Chromebooks covers this in detail, even giving you model numbers to compare.

          And it's because these are crappy rebadged uber-low-end Windows laptops that they make such crappy Chromebooks.

          If you actually want a Chromebook, then get the Samsung one using the Cortex-A15 chipset. At least then you'll get all-day battery life.

      • Re:bets? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @04:56AM (#43572657) Journal

        ...crappy screens (ye olde 800x480), tiny RAM (2GB or so if you're lucky), and miniscule hard drives (8GB SSDs)...hard drive is probably $50 for 500GB...

        With a polished+supported OS and an 80GB drive, at $200 it'd work for a lot of people, either as a primary system if they're poor or a secondary/work-only one if they're not. I'm speaking firsthand from my single-core 2GHz Thinkpad T43 after finally upgrading it to 2GB of RAM today; it has a 60GB hard drive, 1024x768 14" screen, runs SimplyMepis 11 Linux (currently using 4.8G + 1G swap), and does everything I'd like it to do.

        My laptop's specs give a good idea of what a manufacturer could get away with in creating a polished Linux-based laptop. The OS and most Linux programs don't take up much room, so even an 8-12G SSD (or 30GB HD to be generous) would be fine and a SD/microSD card reader would then allow the user to take on the cost of additional storage based on his/her needs. If the timing's just right, the company could take advantage of others pushing towards super-high resolutions by buying the WXGA or XGA screens at a huge discount.

        I don't know the OS costs, so it's hard to comment much on them -- but there are at least a few computer repair/building services out there that sell PCs they've set up with very newbie-friendly Linux distros and have had a lot of very satisfied/repeat customers, which suggests it's possible to pull it off; seeking out those successful geeks and finding out their "secrets" might be the wisest approach. The most important thing there, I believe, would be to ensure the customers know that the computer wouldn't run Windows, so there's no confusion/shock when they go to use it (as with the netbooks a few years ago); hell, with word out now that Windows 8 is a giant clusterfuck, it shouldn't be hard to market the fact that the OS isn't Windows as a desirable thing.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        You think you understand. Really you're close. But the difference between close and solid is everything.
      • Re:bets? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bert64 (520050) <bert@@@slashdot...firenzee...com> on Sunday April 28, 2013 @06:24AM (#43572939) Homepage

        Those $200 netbooks were very popular, they are basically what started the whole netbook fad...
        The reason they went up in price was because they went up in spec, primarily in order to run windows. Once they were powerful enough to run windows, they were no longer cheap and became considerably heavier too, which took away the original benefits of a netbook.

    • Re:bets? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ozmanjusri (601766) <[aussie_bob] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Sunday April 28, 2013 @03:16AM (#43572423) Journal

      Office doesn't run on Android.

      That means both of Microsoft's cash cows will have been bypassed. They'll HAVE to respond in some way.

    • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @04:17AM (#43572551) Homepage

      I don't want a touch screen. How about saving the touch screen and making a $150 laptop? The touch screen is just unwanted extra cost. I have a hard enough time keeping the screen clean without people intentionally smearing their grubby fingers across it. It's definitely not anything I want to pay extra for.

      Netbooks are quite useful. I'd also like to see more ARM units with long battery life. The netbook form has more room for battery than a tablet does so there really aren't any excuses any more for not having 10 - 12 hours of battery. That's enough to get through a full day at a conference or long flight with transfers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bert64 (520050)

        Alas, microsoft killed any hope for such laptops... Once you have hardware capable of running windows, you need a much larger battery if you want decent runtime, more cooling to accommodate the hotter running components, larger storage etc.

        A small laptop running a non crippled linux distro would be awesome, and would sell well if properly marketed, but it seems noone is willing to push such a device.

        It has been said for years that a linux laptop wouldn't sell, and yet most of the reasons cited have been deb

      • I don't want a touch screen. How about saving the touch screen and making a $150 laptop?

        Ignoring that the Android OS has advantages when using a touchscreen. I think you need to look for your saving elsewhere. We live in Bazarro world where my (relevantly) expensive low resolution and DPI touchless laptop cost's more than my relatively *cheap* touchsceen high DPI tablet. The bought a whole tablet yesterday for $100. I'd be surprised if the keyboard would cost $50.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      It's okay, they won't exist anyway. Every time you see a "$xyz (sillily cheep) abcs are coming" story on slashdot, the price shown is the price that some engineer has decided they might be able to get the BoM down to. The result is that even if they meet that BoM, they'll still charge 50% more to make a profit, and most of the time they don't meet the BoM, so it ends up being 100% more expensive.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Anyone want to bet that Microsoft will price themselves right out of the $200 atom market? I'm betting that $200 will be right about the price point for just the OS,

      Will NEVER happen. Microsoft will PAY manufacturers to take their OS, should they feel threatened. This is what happened with NetBooks, where XP was given away to stop the flood of cheap Linux netbooks. Manufacturers also got Microsoft advertising dollars in the exchange, to boot, and could get a few dollars more from preloading crapware like

    • Anyone want to bet that Microsoft will price themselves right out of the $200 atom market? I'm betting that $200 will be right about the price point for just the OS, so unless Intel wants to give away their atom touchscreen lappies, they'll remain android, or possibly get a linux option.

      Depends how much crapware they can shovel onto the Windows laptop. The crapware vendors donate a buck or so for each installation, in the expectation that some of them will result in fifty or so bucks back, and maybe annual fees or future upgrades. It's one of the reasons there is little difference between the price of a PC with Windows and a PC with no OS (sometimes the Windows PC is even cheaper). Our strategy has been to just wipe the disk and install Xubuntu; no problems, and no crapware.

    • Minimum install base for W8 is 16GB and 1GB RAM. We all know that means to be useful it needs 32GB storage and 2GB RAM. Just those two things put them out of the $200 market already. We don't even have to look at their poor showing in developers and app ecosystems.
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      If Windows was free then $200 would be about enough to put the Windows OS devices over Android devices.. That makes the real value of a Windows install equal -$200. Make your own inferences from there.
    • This always makes me angry as a teacher. We NEED these cheaper laptops for our budgets, but our IT people, understandably from my limited perspective, want to keep one system to manage, so we are required to buy from Dell. No cheap laptops in the cafeteria for our students to use. All the desktops are in use in the Media Center? Well, sorry, we can't buy four Nexus tablets, we have to wait to get one more desktop.

      We're supposed to get tablets in the next few years for all the students, but those will be Mi

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      They are rapidly losing relevance already. Android is something an aweful lot of people are already familiar with, software is dirt cheap and now Microsoft started to sell touchscreen tablet/netbook hybrids themselves.

      I don't know if this will actually eat into the desktop market but the laptop market is under threat by this. MS will propably keep the corporate PC for a couple of years but they are currently losing the casual home market.

      ANECDOTE ALERT:
      I got my mother a 3G tablet complete with a dirt c
    • Re:bets? (Score:4, Informative)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday April 28, 2013 @01:44PM (#43575007) Journal

      I'll take that bet because its the same thing that the FOSS guys said about netbooks...remember how that worked out? With MSFT wiping out the Linux netbooks within 2 years by first using XP then Win 7 Starter?

      Lets face facts folks...Ballmer needs Win 8 to be a hit, and if he has to sell it for $5 a copy to make it so? Well Win 8 is a sunk cost so it doesn't matter what they sell licenses for does it? if the rumor is true that they are coming out with a sub $250 tablet running Atom my guess is Ballmer will practically give Win 8 away to insure its on every one that rolls out the line, it would finally give them a toehold into the tablet market and he would be able to say "See? Modern UI isn't a flop!".

  • Interesting. I would have thought Chrome would have been a better fit for the laptop but I guess Intel is keen to push Touch and Android is much better suited to that end.

    I wonder too if this is a ploy to encourage MS to lower its prices too?

    To me it looks like Intel is pushing touch as a must have feature to try and get everyone to upgrade but I see it mostly as a fad myself (kinda like 3D TV). It's kinda interesting but ultimately not upgrade worthy.

    Though if someone implemented it in such a way that it

  • android over windows (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlinatrainingbra (2738457) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @02:24AM (#43572309)
    Hmmm... android winning... windows dying... Is it finally the year of linux on the laptop? (even if it's an intel androidy laptop)
    .
    I thought that the sub-$300 laptops were declared dead last year and at the beginning of this year. Are people finally realizing that holding a tablet upright isn't all that it's cracked up to be?
    :>)
    And also that {unbundling a touchscreen laptop and selling its parts individually as a touchscreen tablet + case cover + attachable keyboard + carryalong recharger which ends up costing twice the cost of the comparable bundled together laptop in the firstplace} is untenable in a market-place where people are still interested in saving money.
  • "game changer" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by globaljustin (574257) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <labolgnitsuj>> on Sunday April 28, 2013 @02:26AM (#43572317) Homepage Journal

    depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8.

    You 6-digit username kids might not remember this, but once upon a time, a comment like this could sink your whole product, or whole company...Windows was it for PC. (imagine Dell or HP saying this in '98)

    Now, it's like, "Yeah, Microsoft can come to the party, but they'll have to bring their own booze"

    I deem this Android/Intel laptop to be *the* game changer that causes even mainstream media to realize M$ dying quickly.

    I guess we'll see...

  • by CaptQuark (2706165) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @02:38AM (#43572347)
    Because Microsoft requires certified Windows 8 hardware to be shipped with secure boot feature enabled by default, Intel might be interested in designing a computer that isn't purpose built for Microsoft to control.

    Intel might be building a computer that gives other operating systems a test bed to innovate and create something new. A multifunction laptop/tablet that can run Android, Chrome, Linux, or Firefox OS as the user desires.
  • by JonBoy47 (2813759) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @02:56AM (#43572385)
    Despite their efforts, Intel hasn't significantly extended past their position as the CPU supplier for Windows PC's. Which, in a world where potential customers are increasingly buying low cost, non-Windows ARM-based devices, is a problem. Intel must extend into this market or face a long slow slide to irrelevancy as the world migrates to mobile and ARM processors. It doesn't help that Windows system requirements haven't increased since Vista came out in 2007. Users have no reason to upgrade working PC's, or buy more than the bare minimum when circumstance forces a purchase.

    Intel can fire sale Atom chips, but they can't achieve price parity with competing non-Windows ARM-based devices without ditching the Windows tax.

    • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@@@slashdot...firenzee...com> on Sunday April 28, 2013 @06:50AM (#43573039) Homepage

      Intel are now facing the same issues the highend RISC vendors faced in the 90s...
      Having the fastest processors available isn't enough, it wasn't for Alpha, PPC or MIPS and it wont be for Intel. Cheaper processors may be slower, but they sell in much larger volume, cost a lot less, use less power and are still adequate for people's needs.

    • by dfghjk (711126)

      Intel has had to "face a long slow slide to irrelevancy" against other processor architectures since the 80's. They have talent, money, market share, and fab superiority. There is nothing special about ARM that previous x86 competition did not also supposedly have. Nerds and fanboys do not learn from history.

      Sure, platforms today do not require or benefit from backwards compatibility with the x86 instruction set. Neither did Unix, Linux, or Windows NT. Platform independence is right around the corner a

  • by citizenr (871508) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @03:17AM (#43572425) Homepage

    Bitch please, enough of those bad jokes.
    $200 Android tablets use $9-20 ARM A9 dual-quad core SOCs. How is Intel going to compete with that? Give chips for free and make it up in volume?

    • by nzac (1822298)

      Atoms are still comparable in price, its an issue but not the major one. They probably have spare old fab tech to make these.
      The main problem with this is that A15s are more powerful than atoms, both absolute and per watt. Also, the graphics in these is likely to be terrible to top it off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mounthood (993037)

      Bitch please, enough of those bad jokes.
      $200 Android tablets use $9-20 ARM A9 dual-quad core SOCs. How is Intel going to compete with that? Give chips for free and make it up in volume?

      Intel should make a new architecture that's better than ARM (battery life, performance/watt) and then work with Microsoft for Windows support. Atom+Windows is a delaying tactic, letting Intel and Microsoft collect as much rent as possible. Making a new architecture would be a savior for both companies:
      * Intel can gain market share from exclusive Microsoft support. Notice how Windows doesn't really support ARM because the device has to be locked down; so you can't just throw Window on whatever cheap hardwar

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @03:17AM (#43572427)

    200$ for a tablet that will not potentially suck with a windows CE OS and a Pentium era CPU, ...with a keyboard ?

    and a wife in college?

    maybe sold, if it replaces my 10 inch fujitsu lifebook running w2k and office 2000

    • 200$ for a tablet that will not potentially suck with a windows CE OS and a Pentium era CPU, maybe sold, if it replaces my 10 inch fujitsu lifebook running w2k and office 2000

      Apart from the obvious. Windows CE was awful...badly received and in any way a joke when compared to Android. Even Microsoft put a bullet in that horse (Although its amusing that what they replace it with is more unpopular)

      The reality is these machines are placed as direct replacements to windows Laptops.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @03:22AM (#43572437)

    ... pay the same for a 2 year old second hand laptop with far better specs all round. Its the same deal as with cars - if you don't mind using something thats already had someone elses grubby hands on it you can get a LOT of bang for your buck.

    • ... pay the same for a 2 year old second hand laptop with far better specs all round. Its the same deal as with cars - if you don't mind using something thats already had someone elses grubby hands on it you can get a LOT of bang for your buck.

      Ignoring the fact that you are comparing a second hand machine to a new one!? Or that Windows is runs badly on the same hardware. There is a massive drop of interest in Windows there have been 5 articles here in the past week, people want Android...they don't want Windows. The fact of equivalent machine with Android is cheaper than the Windows one id a benefit to everyone but Microsoft.

  • People who think this means anything are forgetting one thing - it's Android but not ARM.

    So it's going to have approximately ZERO software out of the gate. Even the Chromebook has a vastly greater capability in the near term compared to any Intel Android device.

    Yes you could probably just simply re-compile any Android app and add Atom support. But who is going to realistically do that?

    • Ignoring all the obvious fact that Android runs on Intel...and has done for a long time, and had already several phones and cheap ones too. Intel will offer *binary* compatibility of desktop applications.

      Although I agree with you, I would love to see the rise of the Android Laptops, Which will have their own benefits including price and battery Life.

  • by thue (121682) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @04:29AM (#43572581) Homepage

    Why not Ubuntu instead of Android, to get a more full-featured laptop?

    Android doesn't even have official printer support.

    • Ignoring that Ubuntu is a success. Your question is the meme When will Linux be successful on the Desktop? The answer to most of us is obvious who see than Microsoft has no competitors left. Even if it backstabs its customers and manufactures causing a loss of 14% of Sales. It still celebrates its best quarter ever...and almost 80% Gross Profit Margin. In short because of Microsofts Abusive Monopoly or simply that it exists. The right question is why Android on the Desktop? This is Linus on Chrome (I know i

  • Heavy edit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday April 28, 2013 @06:55AM (#43573061) Journal
    I was the submitter and barely half those words were mine.
  • Awe crap. Atom? Seriously? Fuck. Don't get me wrong, I do still write some machince code in hex, and ASM code too (for fun, a 'hobby' OS from scratch project -- when I need to blow off steam from BS in high level languages, I can cuddle right up to the warm CPU and whisper sweet nopcodes in its ears...) -- for that x86-64 is great, but from a practical perspective x86 and friends are bloated and less efficient than ARM. ARM can be licensed by anyone, and it's trimmed down and efficient. Geared for com

  • some work left to do (Score:4, Informative)

    by stenvar (2789879) on Sunday April 28, 2013 @07:18AM (#43573133)

    I've been using Android on a Transformer for a while and it's decent. But the apps just aren't quite ready for it. Still, the overall experience is a little smoother than Windows 8 RT and there are tons more apps for it.

    But Google is trying to push Google Chrome on laptop-like devices, and if they don't fix the issues with Android on laptops, it's just not going to work, since they control the market and they set the standards.

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