We have stumbled upon a quite interesting and detailed spec of Intel's very popular basic notebook segment and we have learned what Intel wants to sell in the $199 to $349 segment. For the money Intel offers basic clamshells and Chromebooks based on 3rd, 4th Intel Celeron U, Pentium U and Y as well as Bay Trail M based Intel Celeron and Pentium processors.
Intel promises two weeks of standby as well as fanless form factor, Intel HD graphics, 10.1- to 15.6-inch displays, 2GB DDR3 memory and 320GB to 500GB HDDs. This specification remind us of the Asus Bay Trail-based Transformer T100 that comes in a detachable form factor and resembles the aforementioned specification, including the $349 price.
The choice of operating systems includes Windows 8 Home, Chrome OS, Linux or Android and in case the machine has a 13.3-inch or larger display, it can come with a DVD RW drive. Great battery life is not something you should expect from these machines, as Intel estimates these machines should offer between three and five hours of battery life.
Still this is not a bad deal considering the money and considering that these machines will be enough for most basic computing, googling, You Tube video watching and Facebooking. This is what the majority of planet does on their computers anyway, with an occasional video chat or email.
The cheapest Chromebook on the market today is the Acer 720 that sells for $199 and promises 8-hour battery life which might be too optimistic, but it is still a quite impressive machine for the money. We haven’t seen that many Android driven notebooks, apart from a $199 Lenovo launched a couple of months ago. At this time they have hard time to getting attention to the market while Windows based machine traditionally cost a bit more.
It seems that the $199 price point works well for tablet sales and Chromebooks, as most of them are nice little toys that can play video and surf net, but they don’t exactly meet the needs needs of modern working people. They will still want the power of desktops and high-end notebooks even in 2014.