Asus and Intel are reportedly teaming up to bring an entry-level x86 tablet to a lucrative mobile market currently dominated by ARM-powered devices.
According to various reports, the tablet - which is expected to be very reasonably priced - will feature Intel’s Atom Z2420 dual-core chipset, 1GB of RAM, a 3 megapixel primary camera with a 1.3 megapixel webcam, 1280×800 resolution, a 4,720mAh battery and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).
Interestingly, both industry heavyweights are said to be trying to achieve a sub $150 price point, which is definitely more than reasonable for the above-mentioned specs. Of course, one should probably take the $150 price point with a grain of salt, as Santa Clara isn't exactly known as a corporation particularly interested in maintaining low price points.
Nevertheless, as Phandroid's Quentyn Kennermer points out, a 7-inch x86 tablet at a $150 price point would represent another "milestone development" for Intel whose biggest influences thus far in the mobile realm is the Motorola RAZR i and several cheap smartphones for emerging markets.
"This leak doesn’t really have us questioning 'if' as much as 'when' and 'can they really get it something like this on the market that cheaply?'" writes Kennermer.
"The answer might not come at one of the biggest worldwide mobile conferences later this month (MWC 2013), but we have a feeling it won’t be long before we’re hearing more about this ambitious venture."
As I noted above, it remains far from clear if Intel is indeed ready to throw its weight behind entry-level x86 tablets. Then again, that is exactly what Santa Clara is doing in the handset market. Obviously, such a strategy can only benefit Intel, because as slow Microsoft Surface sales illustrate, the top-end niche market is not a stellar place to be these days.