One thing you can't really say about Intel
's Atom processors is that they're expensive. If they were, netbooks would cost a lot more than they do, people would stop buying them, and the market would cease to exist, as least as we know it.
Be that as it may, Intel's next generation of Atom
chips will cost even less than they already do, and by a wide margin. According to reports, Intel plans to charge around $42 to $47 for the CPUs to be used in the company's upcoming Cedar Trail platform. That's a drop of up to about 50 percent compared to the price of existing Atom N4xx and N5xx processors, which run from $64 to $86.
Credit the emerging tablet market for this drop in price. Many netbook vendors have turned their attention to tablets, relegating netbooks sales to emerging markets. By lowering the price of upcoming Atom processors, Intel has paved the way for $200 to $300 netbooks. You can already find some models selling in that price range, but they're typically saddled with dated technology.