Apr 29, 2013

Could $200 Android netbooks replace traditional laptops?

Intel has confirmed that they are going to launch a line of $200 touch-screen notebooks in the coming months. We've been hearing about the "death of the PC" for a while now, but I have to wonder, could this be the silver bullet that actually does it? Would you replace your traditional laptop with an Intel/Android netbook?

Why bother with them? You're better off with an iPad mini or some Android equivalent if you really need a small, portable computing device. If you actually need a laptop, then you probably need something with more power than a $200 device can offer.

I don't see this as being functionally all that different from existing Chromebooks. A different OS (but not THAT different) and perhaps a very slightly lower price point, but that's about it. Remember you can get a bare bones Chromebook for $199 today, but I haven't see very many of those floating around. They are currently out of stock though, so maybe the reason I'm not seeing more is because of supply not meeting demand.  


One thing that I don't really understand is the need and wisdom of having Android and Chrome OS products that are so similar in price and end user experience. There doesn't seem to be a compelling reason for both OSes, and it just dilutes the market instead of establishing the presence of one Mac/PC alternative.

I think a few things could replace traditional laptops -- particularly cheap touch-screen Android netbooks and tablets as well as high-quality phablets and smartphones. Combine these with cloud-based storage and the future of traditional laptops may be in doubt over the long-term.

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