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Is Lenovo About To Launch The Cheapest Chromebook Yet?

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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New low-cost devices will be entirely Chinese-built reportedly arriving next year

Lenovo is reportedly planning to launch a Chromebook costing just $170 (£107), making it the cheapest such device on the market.

According to Digitimes, several Taiwanese supply-chain makers have confirmed that the devices will be launching next year as Lenovo looks to grab part of a rapidly-expanding market.

The low costs are down to Lenovo choosing to power the devices with CPUs from China-based Rockchip Electronics, instead of Intel or AMD. The Chromebooks will reportedly be produced by China-based ODM Bitland Information Technology, with Rockchip also being responsible for the integration of the supply chain for Lenovo, making the new devices a completely Chinese product.

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Lenovo, which is already the biggest PC manufacturer in the world, is expected to ship 1.5 million Chromebooks in 2015, a 212 percent increase from the previous year, according to an estimate by Digitimes Research.

The company also announced an expansion to its popular range of YOGA tablets last month as it seeks to become the manufacturer of choice for on-the-go customers. Last week, the company said that it had sold 35.6 million notebooks, desktops, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices during second quarter of 2014.

Sales of Chromebook devices are higher than ever as consumers increasingly flock to the low-cost devices, which are often lighter than standard laptops but offer more computing power than a tablet. Figures from ABI Research released last month found that Chromebook sales rose by 67 percent during the last quarter, with Acer, Samsung and HP the leading manufacturers.

Forecasts made earlier this year by Gartner predicted a 79 percent increase to 5.2 million units in Chromebook sales during 2014, which will then nearly triple to 14.4 million units by 2017.

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