Intel Classmate PC Unveiled

The new budget “Classmate PC” was announced by Intel on Wednesday which will allow US and European consumers to buy $300 laptops. The new PCs is designed for poor school children in developing international markets.

Classmate PC, which as a low-power version of the Celeron M processor and a 7-inch screen, is the latest super low-cost laptop headed for retail sale in the developed world.

PC manufacturers will produce it like other personal computers using Intel chips. Intel is also working on a second version of the Classmate PC, earlier revealing plans to use its upcoming Atom processor in the new laptop. Detailed specifications of the device have yet to be revealed.

The budget laptops, depending on how they are configured, are expected to cost between $250 and $300 when they hit the market later this year.

“During the last quarter, we have seen tremendous interest in the Classmate PC from customers outside education,” said Tom Rampone, an Intel vice president and general manager of the company’s Channel Platforms Group.

It will compete with Taiwan’s $399 Windows Asustek Computer Eee PC, which has flown off store shelves from Asia to North America since it was launched last year, and the XO Laptop, a computer that runs on the Linux operating system.

Intel has conducted pilot tests of the devices in the United States and Australia, but declined to name the schools where they are being tested.

Analysts suggest that this move by Intel and its competitors will cause rival laptop prices to adjust.