While the OLPC foundation got people all worked up about $100 laptops a few years ago, and Asus promised that the original Eee PC might hit $200, the truth of the matter is it’s much more likely to find new netbooks released for between $300 and $400. And it looks like even the next-generation netbooks with dual core Atom processors coming later this year could cost less than $400.
Intel is expected to launch a new Atom N550 dual core processor aimed at netbooks soon. And Fudzilla reports that the company is suggesting that PC makers sell mini-laptops outfitted with the chipset for between $349 and $399. It’s expected that the netbooks will have 1GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 32GB solid state disks, or 250GB hard drives, and 7 to 10.2 inch displays.
According to Fudzilla, this will move the target pricing for netbooks with single core chips to between $249 and $349, which is pretty close to where they already are today. A handful of PC makers are selling new models for under $300, with most netbooks selling in the $300 to $350 price range. A handful of high-end systems including the HP Mini 5102 and Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t demand higher prices because of premium features such as touchscreen displays, faster hard drives, or hard drive shock protection.
Fudzilla suggests that dual core netbooks could hit the streets in the third quarter of 2010.