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Asus to take fight to tablets with cheap Google netbook

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Eee PC maker Asus will launch a dirt-cheap netbook this summer in a bid the eke out out market share before the tablets take it all.

So say industry moles cited by DigiTimes. The mystery machine will be out in June and cost "$200-250", which is £124-155 in real money.

The snag, of course, is that you can already pick up past-their-prime 10in, Intel Atom-based netbooks for £180. With basic tablets already on sale at as little as £100, which difference will the mooted £30 price cut really make?

If Asus ships the system with Android or Chrome OS, as the sources suggest, then it will at least have a differentiator beyond a slightly lower price.

Early netbooks with Linux caused some buyers problems - they wouldn't run software the punters already had on their Windows computers. This time round, thanks to smartphones, ordinary buyers aren't so fazed by non-Microsoft operating systems. ®

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