Now that the dust has settled over Asus’s recent decision to abandon Windows RT, the company’s back in the news with some interesting rumors pertaining to a new VivoBook, as well as an Asus-branded Chromebook.
Let’s start with the VivoBook. According to a leaked press shot from Swedish site SweClockers, Asus will release a 10.1-inch VivoBook called the X102BA. The X102BA will appeal to those who actually liked netbooks, as it’s a pretty simple laptop. The X102BA will offer a 1GHz dual-core A4-1200 AMD processor, and a Radeon HD 8180 225MHz GPU. SweClockers says the hard drive will be available starting at 320GB and upgradable to 500GB. The 320GB model will come with 2GB of DDR3L RAM, and the 500GB version will come with 4GB. With the 10.1-inch screen, the resolution only goes up to 1,366 x 768, which is nothing to write home about. However, SweClockers says the notebook will run $507 in the U.S., but that it’ll likely be less once it goes on sale. When you consider the below $500 price point, you can’t truly expect impressive display.
The notebook will reportedly be announced in September, and will likely ship with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013.
Speaking of low-cost notebooks, Asus is rumored to be joining Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, and HP in the Chromebook game. As we heard back in May from Asus’s CEO Jerry Shen, the company planned to release a Chromebook in the latter half of the year – in which we are now knee deep. According to Tom’s Hardware, “unnamed sources in the upstream supply chain” are saying Asus will have a Chromebook as early as Q4 with the intent of reaching the education market. Though Chromebooks haven’t been an overwhelming hit in general, their ease of use and inexpensive price tag have made them a popular choice in education. Asus’ push to release a Chromebook in Q4 may help the company add additional revenue before the year ends.
The company reduced its notebook shipment forecast for 2013 from 22-24 million units to 17-19 million units. Asus is already in Google’s good graces thanks to is Nexus program, so a partnership with Google’s Chromebook team makes sense. These are all still rumors, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Asus unveiled a Chromebook alongside its new VivoBook in September with a launch date somewhere between October and January.
Photo via SweClockers