Chrome OS netbook from Asus coming In June, report says

Asus is reportedly prepping a $200 Google Chrome OS notebook for sale in June.

Computer maker Asus may launch a 10-inch netbook this June for $200-$250 powered by Google Chrome OS or possibly Android 3.0, current online rumors suggest. The device would have a single core Intel Atom chip and be targeted for people who want to use basic productivity applications or browse the Web, according to Taiwan-based Digitimes.

Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management at Google, recently said Chrome OS devices would hit store shelves by midyear. Since Asus is one of Google's Chrome OS partners expected to debut a netbook in 2011, a Chrome OS laptop in June appears more likely than an Android device.

Google debuted Chrome OS nearly two years ago, but the search giant and its partners including Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Toshiba, as well as Asus have yet to launch a Chrome OS-based netbook. Chrome OS is essentially Google's Chrome browser with limited driver support for hardware components. Netbooks running Chrome OS will depend primarily on online data storage with a small amount of onboard drive space.

Clock Ticking

A Chrome OS device may have been an interesting idea when it first debuted in July 2009. But since the debut of the iPad in early 2010, followed by other one-panel slates, the time for a Google PC may have passed. Just like Chrome OS netbooks, tablets are designed to be a PC substitute for those times you don't want to lug around a more powerful laptop. This direct competition between netbooks and tablets has led many analysts and critics to argue the tablet is cannibalizing netbook sales. Market research firm Canalys recently predicted that for every 10 tablet devices sold in 2011, five netbooks or full-sized laptops will remain on store shelves.

Apple is already shipping more iPads than some single netbook manufacturers. The company sold about 15 million iPads in 2010, while Asus shipped just 6 million of its popular Eee PC netbooks during that same time. Analysts have also predicted big gains for Apple's iPad 2 with as many as 500,000 sold in the first three days of the product's launch. Apple has not announced any official iPad 2 sales numbers.

Glimmer of Hope

The one advantage a Chrome OS netbook could have over tablets would be pricing, if recent rumors of a $200 Asus device turn out to be correct. The cheapest iPad currently costs $500 and Motorola recently announced its Android-based Wi-Fi only Xoom tablet will sell for $600. If Asus can launch a Chrome OS netbook that costs half as much as an iPad, that may be enough to woo people away from touch-based tablets and back to a more traditional laptop device.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags asusultraportable laptophardware systemstabletsmini laptopLenovolaptopsintelHewlett-PackardnetbooksGoogle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?