Touchscreen notebooks and tablets running Microsoft’s flagship Windows 8 operating system are still considered somewhat expensive by mainstream users.
If you want to get your hands on one, about the lowest price you could hope to find is just shy of $500 for something along the lines of an Asus VivoBook notebook.
The high price of entry for touchscreen Windows 8 devices such as notebooks and tablets is one of the reason the machines are failing to take off, at least for the mainstream consumer market.
However, Intel believes prices of devices with touchscreens running Windows 8 will hit significantly lower points when its next-generation Atom SoCs known as Bay Trail hit the market.
Indeed, Intel CEO Paul Otellini recently said touch-enabled ultra thin notebooks powered by Santa Clara’s chips will hit the market at prices as low as $200. As you may recall, Intel has been offering Atom processors for netbooks and other devices such as smartphones and tablets for quite some time now. And as expected, the chips typically focus more on power savings than outright horsepower and performance.
However, Intel says that the new Bay Trail chips are expected to offer about twice the performance of the current Clover Trail chips being used in tablets and hybrid notebooks. Intel also promises significantly better graphics and long battery life for mobile devices. Of course, whether or not Otellini’s predictions about starting prices of $200 come true remains to be seen. Intel doesn’t set the price of computers on the market, however the chips Intel sales are often one of the most expensive components inside a device.