Acer seems to be taking the road less travelled with its new all-in-one, the DA220HQL, which should cost a tad over $400 – but it’s no ordinary low-end AIO.
It is based on a new Intel Haswell processor and it runs Android rather than Windows 8. That explains the relatively low price, as we don’t expect to see a lot of Haswell based gear priced at $400, at least not over the next few months. However, to get to that price point Acer had to cut some corners, so the DA220HQL has just 1GB of memory and 8GB of storage in its entry-level configuration.
Although Android doesn’t have a huge footprint and it can run on tiny ARM chips and relatively little RAM, Acer went for a Core i5 4430 Haswell chip clocked at 3GHz. It sounds like overkill and it probably is, as Android simply lacks the apps to push it to its limits.
However, it threatens to be a worrying development for Microsoft. People who don’t need serious productivity apps and who are just looking for a down to earth home PC might as well get an Android-based system instead of a Windows 8 box and save some serious money in the process.
As CNET reports, Intel is already talking up Android laptops based on Bay Trail chips, which should be priced between $200 and $300. That’s practically low-end tablet money and it is more than likely that cheap Android notebooks and Chromebooks will replace netbooks, which are practically extinct already.