Netbook prices: how low can they go? We asked Intel

01st September 2009
Netbook prices: how low can they go? We asked Intel
Your guess is as good as mine, Mooly Eden seems to say -- IndiaTechOnline photo

'Don't expect a 10,000-rupee netbook any time soon'

Prices of Netbooks --those pared down notebook PCs with sub-10 inch screens and no DVD drive, mostly driven by the Atom chip-- are like 'Kansas City' in the lyrics of that famous song in the "Oklahoma" musical: "They've gone about as far as they can go" -- as far down, that is.
Intel's Vice President for the mobile platform business, "Mooly" Eden, in Bangalore, Thursday, told a media briefing that Net book prices were unlikely to fall much more beyond today's bottom prices of around $ 250 equivalent. In other words, they will cost around Rs 15,000 in India. Eden suggested that the Intel elements of the Net book formed only a small part of the total bill of materials -- batteries took away a big chunk of the cost -- so the company could do only so much to drive down prices.
However, challenged to create a reference design that could end up as a product for India, below the popular the perceived lay consumer's 'lakshman rekha' of Rs 10,000, Eden set his India-based engineers on the job.
Meanwhile the company has moved beyond Atom fuelled notebooks to ultra thin notebooks, with ultra low voltage processors under the belt. Thin and ( ultra) light is in... but get set to pay a premium for that sleek-n-sexy look: thin computing will add another $ 50-100 to the asking price of the best netbooks. / Aug 30 2009

September 1 update: Digitimes says Asustek Computer plans to launch two new ultra-thin notebooks using Intel's upcoming 45nm Celeron 743 and SU2300 CPUs on September 7. Both target the entry-level market. Micro-Star International (MSI) and Acer will follow suit to announce their new ultra-thin notebooks soon after, the sources noted. ( )