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$149 Asus Chromebook inches closer to formal unveil with Rockchip inside

If the ultra-low-cost Chrome OS laptop materializes, Microsoft will face an uphill struggle competing, regardless of them trimming Windows licensing fees.

Asus Chromebook

It’s been a fruitful beginning of the year for Chromebook manufacturers, which have seemed a lot more focused on palpable performance and productivity upgrades than before. At the risk of losing relevance where they’ve scored the most points thus far, in the budget segment, Acer and Dell have vastly improved build quality, with the former also intent on taking screen size, resolution and raw speed to the next level.

Meanwhile, Google went straight for Apple’s jugular, making the tech world mourn a solid OS X/Windows alternative even more. Can you imagine what bargain would the second-gen Pixel become with slightly more complex software support?

But fret not, affordable gear lovers, this isn’t the general direction the search giant wishes to set for its web-centric machines. It’s merely a healthy branch-out strategy, albeit uber-cheap models shall remain the center of attention.

Enter the C201, Asus’s “most affordable Chromebook to date”, as per a leaked retailer’s revealing catalog. Needless to say this isn’t 100 percent confirmed information, but it’s perfectly in line with speculation sparked up by Digitimes last fall.

Asus C201 specs

Back then, the Taiwanese rumormongers claimed Lenovo and Asus had $149 Chromebooks in the pipeline, and the C201 certainly fits the description. That’s to say it’s sufficiently humble to command a recommended retail price $50 below the aging Intel Celeron-powered version.

What’s humbler than a Celeron? A quad-core 1.8 GHz Rockchip 3288-C CPU, built on ARM Cortex-A17 parts. Essentially, you’re looking at a processor better suited for tablets, but lowering the cost bar to $150 may just be worth the performance sacrifice. Not to mention we expect the SoC to go very easy on battery, allowing the C201 to run for up to 10 hours on a single charge.

Other features will reportedly include a mundane 11.6-inch 1,366 x 768 pix res display, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage and VGA webcam. A 4 GB DDR3 configuration should also be offered once the world’s cheapest Chromebook goes official… for a bit of extra cash. Intrigued?

Source: OMG Chrome

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