DigiTimes writes both Lenovo and ASUS are preparing to release $149 Chromebooks in the first half of 2015. These systems are expected to feature Google-certified solutions from Chinese chip maker Rockchip. The initiative is anticipated to push notebook prices down even further and puts strong pressure on Microsoft to lower its licensing costs.
Rockchip is a first-tier tablet application processor (AP) designer in China and has recently cooperated with Intel over chip design and the distribution of Intel's SoFIA chips.
In October 2014, Lenovo announced a 10.1-inch Android notebook using Rockchip's RK3188 solution and Digitimes Research estimates that Lenovo's RK3288-based 11.6-inch Chromebook will become available in the market at the end of 2014 at the earliest or in the first half of 2015 at the latest. Asustek's 11.6-inch Chromebook is expected to be released in 2015.
Digitimes Research expects Lenovo's and Asustek's 11.6-inch Chromebooks to be priced at US$149, 25% lower than the US$199 of the C720 from Acer, the largest Chromebook vendor currently.