Netbooks sub-$350, ultra-thins starting at $450
Last modified on Friday, 07 August 2009 13:51
We talked about Intel's suggested netbook pricing and design
restrictions on several occasions in the past months, so you probably
know what we're on about. Screen sizes up to 10.2 inches, sub-$400
price, and thanks to Redmond, 1GB of memory and 160GB of storage.
However, Intel is now focusing on thin and light notebooks, and it's
recommending a sub-$350 price for netbooks, which it describes as
"companion" devices that offer a basic media experience and are
intended for occasional use. In layman's terms, toys.
The new thin and lights are supposed to get more attention, and Intel
is suggesting they be sold in the $450 to $1100+ price range, with
screen sizes over 10 inches. At the moment the cheapest CULV models
will set you back anywhere from $550 to well over $700, depending on
the region. Intel describes these products as primary PCs, says they
offer a rich multitasking and internet experience, whatever that means,
and says they should be under and inch thick. So it's not badmouthing
them like netbooks.
However, recent reports indicate cheap ultra-thins aren't selling that
great. Consumers could be waiting for Win 7, or they simply expect more
performance from a primary device. Intel is expected to address
performance concerns with new, affordable ULV dual-cores. Next year it
will focus on adding more dual-cores to its CULV lineup, and we're
expecting 32nm parts at some point as well. Core 2 Solo CPUs might
become a thing of the past, as single and dual-core Celerons take their place in the low end.
So, Intel is obviously trying to push both netbook and ultra-thin
prices down, but it really doesn't need to rush the process one bit.
AMD is nowhere near with its Neo platform, and we can only hope new AMD
45nm platforms materialize soon. In the netbook market, Intel stands
unopposed, more than a year after launching the Atom. VIA's Nano has
few design wins, and AMD has no product to offer. The only mobile
segment Intel won't dominate is the ARM-based smartbook market, but
these devices have more in common with smartphones than notebooks