Lenovo plans to launch the world’s cheapest Chromebook next year

Chromebooks are only going to get more popular. Photo: Acer

Chromebooks are only going to get more popular. Photo: Acer

Lenovo wants to shake up the affordable notebook market by launching the cheapest Chromebook we’ve seen to date, according to sources in its supply chain. The Chinese company is said to be targeting a price tag under $170, and it will turn to budget processors in order to keep costs low.

“Lenovo’s Chromebooks will be powered by CPUs from China-based Rockchip Electronics and produced by China-based ODM Bitland Information Technology,” DigiTimes reports, citing sources in Taiwan. The machines will reportedly to be available in early 2015, and they’re expected to help Lenovo sell 1.5 million Chrome OS machines throughout next year.

Chromebooks have been getting cheaper and cheaper over time, slowly but surely bringing down notebook profits for many manufacturers. While they cannot replace traditional notebooks and PCs for a large number of users, they are a suitable alternative for those who only need access to the Internet, email, and other basic functions.

One of the cheapest Chromebooks on the market right now is the C-720 from Asus, which currently costs around $260. But for around $50 extra, consumers can get a notebook powered by Windows 8.1, such as the HP Stream, which has a 32GB solid-state storage drive, and 2GB of RAM.

Thanks mostly to their price tags, Chromebook sales are expected to top six million units in 2014, and double to 12 million in 2015. Chrome OS devices from Acer, Asus, Samsung, and indeed Lenovo are expected to become even more popular.