Pegatron showcases prototype $199 netbook

pegatron

You know that mythical $199 netbook we’ve all been waiting for? It might be here. A few days ago Freescale Semiconducter and Pegatron announced a reference design for a netbook with an ARM-based processor that could be sold for as little as $199. And today Xavier from Notebooks.com got a chance to spend some time with a prototype. And he came away from the meeting pleasantly surprised.

These netbooks are designed as super low power, Linux devices with a web browser and some other basic software. While they’re not going to win any awards for speed, Pegatron says they could get up to 8 hours of battery life. 

That $199 price tag isn’t final. Pegatron is shopping around for computer makers who will actually price and sell the netbooks, so they could cost as much as $299 by the time they hit the streets. But with other netbook makers slashing prices on machines with Intel Atom CPUs, my guess is that any computer manufacturer that picks up this ARM-based device will try to undercut the competition on price.

  • Nate

    Given the choice between hopping on one of these, and waiting for the two hundred dollar Eee Pc, which is supposedly coming soon, I think I'd go for the Eee Pc.

  • Linc (MonkeyKing)

    Well, it sounds good that thjey are trying to push down prices when you can see compaines wanting to nudge prices up. That video showing the unit off and it decoding 720 p video was nice as well.

    I don't want to sound to militant but if we as consumers accept $600, $700, and soon $900 Netbooks we're just hurting ourselves. Sure we want cool netbooks but if we buy systems at that price the inexpensive computer will die a very quick death.

  • http://thegadgetsite.blogspot.com/ KC Kim

    The prototype looks darn good. I hope someone carrys it as is. As I like the design.

  • BoloMKXXVIII

    In a year or two I think $150 – $200 ARM based netbooks will be (semi) common. Nice to travel with because if it gets lost/stolen/broken you are not out that much. As for the 8 hours of battery life, my Samsung NC10 can do that but at a higher price.

  • Linc (MonkeyKing)

    Not sure how many $200 computers we will see in the coming year or two, but a few would be very nice. I'm not even sure if I would like to own a machine like that unless it had a full Linux running. The usefulness of a web browser only machine is somewhat limited. Althought Sony's 'expsnieve' Vaio P with its limited funtion ( video, audio, still pictures, web browsing, and podcast, RSS feeds) is very interesting as a low end target for functions.

    touch screen clamshell/tablet designs I hope catch on. I love my Samsung NC10, but if I could hold it to my bossum and use it like a huge iPhone that would be very cool.

    As i have said before $200 machine are of great interest to me, but we don't need many. What we do need is some engergy effient designs that have a bit more graphical power and abit more CPU power. The holy grail is energy effiency that allows for 12 to 24 hours of use at some low setting.

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  • Linc (MonkeyKing)

    Not sure how many $200 computers we will see in the coming year or two, but a few would be very nice. I'm not even sure if I would like to own a machine like that unless it had a full Linux running. The usefulness of a web browser only machine is somewhat limited. Althought Sony's 'expsnieve' Vaio P with its limited funtion ( video, audio, still pictures, web browsing, and podcast, RSS feeds) is very interesting as a low end target for functions.

    touch screen clamshell/tablet designs I hope catch on. I love my Samsung NC10, but if I could hold it to my bossum and use it like a huge iPhone that would be very cool.

    As i have said before $200 machine are of great interest to me, but we don't need many. What we do need is some engergy effient designs that have a bit more graphical power and abit more CPU power. The holy grail is energy effiency that allows for 12 to 24 hours of use at some low setting.

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  • Monty

    “I'm not even sure if I would like to own a machine like that unless it had a full Linux running.”
    We got my wife an EeePC900 and in less then 30 minutes I had a full KDE desktop available. She still prefers the 'simple' interface but it's simply a matter of logging out and back in. I've seen no difference in performance either way. I'm sure that an xfce or open box environment wouldn't tax an ARM too much. And if needing to run Ooo rather than AbeWord, just make sure that it has plenty of swap and don't get impatient.

  • Monty

    “I'm not even sure if I would like to own a machine like that unless it had a full Linux running.”
    We got my wife an EeePC900 and in less then 30 minutes I had a full KDE desktop available. She still prefers the 'simple' interface but it's simply a matter of logging out and back in. I've seen no difference in performance either way. I'm sure that an xfce or open box environment wouldn't tax an ARM too much. And if needing to run Ooo rather than AbeWord, just make sure that it has plenty of swap and don't get impatient.

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