Intel woos Chinese tablet makers

Intel is trying to get into the cheap and cheerful Chinese market by convincing OEMs behind the bamboo curtain that its low-power Bay Trail processors are an ARM alternative.

Several Eastern device makers have already announced upcoming Android tablets with Bay Trail chips. Already PC maker Asus has taken the bait and may be getting ready to launch its own line of Android tablets with Bay Trail processors and it looks like they’ll be competitively priced at around $149 and up.

Several US retailers have posted listings for an unannounced Asus ME176 tablet with an Intel Atom Z3745 processor and Android 4.4 KitKat software.

These 7-inch tablets will have  1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage which is underwhelming, but might work for retailer-subsidised projects. They will run Android 4.4 KitKat, feature IPS screens with wide viewing angles.

Intel’s Atom Z3745 processor is a 64-bit, 1.33 GHz quad-core chip. It features 311 MHz Ivy Bridge graphics (with max speeds of 778 MHz), and it’s an x86 processor with support for up to 4GB of RAM.

The advantage is that the gear should be able to support Windows and other operating systems as the Atom Z3745 is very similar to the Atom Z3740 CPU found in Windows devices such as the Asus Transformer Book T100 and Dell Venue 8 Pro.

But the low end of the market is getting pretty crowded. Intel-powered $149 tablets will have to fight Android tablets with low-cost ARM chips from companies like Allwinner, Rockchip, and MediaTek.