At least that is what an early notice of their upcoming release is showing, as the expected pricing is to be between $250 and $600.
At anything above $300, why would anyone want one? That was what I thought when I read that news, for it is easy to find a notebook at the $350 price point that includes Windows 7, a DVD/CD-R unit, and a capacious hard drive, also not making the mistake of the assumption that the user will always have an internet connection. Many users will not, and the first trip to the airport will show even the most urbane city dweller that point, in quick order.
Of course, the estimations as to the price are being based upon the Google Cr-48. With the hardware being so restricted (12” screen, Atom-style processor, 11n wi-fi, and a webcam), it is hard to believe that anyone but the most frugal student would purchase the device, and even then, at the first chance to jump to something else, I believe that road would be taken. That would also only occur if the unit pricing was at the lowest end of what is expected. Imagining what could get a netbook of any kind in the $600 neighborhood is very fatiguing, as the only thing I could contemplate putting it into that area would be a three-year internet connection plan with a major provider.
Of course, we are told that the first to produce these units will be Sony and Samsung. (I have yet to understand why any Sony computer product should command a premium price.) The ship dates are expected around the end of the second quarter, in the month of June.
There may be people who can force themselves into a cloud-storage only work environment, but they would have to be very careful in their travels, and expect to be tethered to a wireless plan for the rest of the time with that machine.
The thing that would make a higher priced netbook a possibility, with hopes of achieving more than modest sales, would be the inclusion of phone and e-reader capabilities, which could be done with the inclusion of a Bluetooth headset, and a higher than normal quality screen.
By incorporating these three capabilities, the busy user who feels the need for the e-reader or the netbook could eliminate the carrying of a phone, and for those that are heavy phone users, the larger battery of the netbook could allow much greater times between hitting the wall socket.