Far Eastern vendors are optimisic for full-year sales while Intel plans a new budget education StudyBook tablet.

New iPad didn’t hurt notebook sales

Intel is set to promote a new 10-inch Medfield-based PC tablet category dubbed the StudyBook, aimed at the education market according to a DigiTimes report.

The 10-inch StudyBook will be based on the Intel Medfield platform and contain support for dual-operating systems. The primary market for StudyBook is the growth markets of China and Brazil, according to sources quoted by the DigiTimes.

Intel’s Classmate PC program has already been running for five years and the DigiTimes claimed that the OEM manufacturer of the Classmate, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), will also be tapped to manufacturer the budget tablet. The Classmate already featured a reversable touch screen so was in effect a hybrid tablet device.

In addition to targeting the education market, Intel hopes to get the StudyBook into "regular retail channels" for less than US$299. While ARM-based tablets are often hitting budget price points, an Intel (and Windows 8) compatible 10-inch tablet for this sort of money could be quite the upset.

Interestingly, the DigiTimes also said that against expectations the new iPad doesn’t appear to have impacted notebook shipments in March. The result, they say, is that Far Eastern notebook manufacturers are producing optimistic forecasts of notebook shipments this year.

Digitimes Research analyst Joanne Chien hailed Acer in particular for "rather excellent performance" and noted that the firm was geared up for an "aggressive preparation of ultrabook product lines" in the year ahead. Chien said this was good news for Acer’s chances of regaining status as a "top 3 vendor".

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