ASUS Transformer Pad_Infinity_01

While observing that Chromebooks have so far failed to make much of a dent in the market, we mentioned Intel’s CEO saying that he expected notebook prices to fall as low as $200. CNET reports Intel’s chief product officer saying that he expects most of these to run Android …

Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president and chief product officer, told CNET on Wednesday that notebooks priced at the $200 level will predominantly be Android products running on Intel’s Atom mobile processor. Whether Windows 8 PCs hit that price largely depends on Microsoft, he said.

“We have a good technology that enables a very cost-effective price point,” Perlmutter said. The price of Windows 8 laptops “depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8. It may be a slightly higher price point.”

While $200 for a notebook might seem a stretch, one only has to look at the way tablet prices have fallen to see how feasible this could be. When Amazon can sell the Kindle Fire for $159 (albeit reputedly at cost-price), adding a $20 keyboard to this gets you to $200 with at least some margin.

It does, of course, raise the question ‘when is a notebook not a notebook’? Is an Atom-powered Android tablet with a keyboard – detachable or not – really a notebook? Geeks might argue the point at length, but non-technical budget-conscious consumers probably don’t care. If it looks like a notebook and does the things they need it do do, often nothing more demanding that email and web, then as far as they are concerned, it’s a notebook.