Asrock, a well-known supplier of inexpensive mainboards and a subsidiary of Asustek Computer, this week unveiled a lineup of inexpensive consumer-oriented notebooks as well as a nettop. The new machines will hardly attract enthusiasts of performance or leading-edge features, but may become rather popular in emerging markets.
The first notebook from Asrock is MultiBook G15, which is based on Intel GL40+ICH9M with DirectX 10 support and features 15.6” wide-screen display with 1366x768 resolution. The mobile computer supports Intel Pentium or Celeron processors, up to 4GB of DDR2 memory, 2.5” hard disk drive with up to 500GB capacity and so on. The MultiBook G15 also sports DVD burner, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless network controller, 1.3MP webcam, Li-ion 4400mAh battery and so on.
Specifications of another Asrock notebook – MultiBook G12 – are not clear, but it can be expected that the unit will have 12” display and will not support internal optical disk drive.
In addition to the MultiBook family, Asrock announced another product line – NetTop S330-series. Asrock’s NetTop S330 comes with dual-core Intel Atom 330 processor, Intel 945GC core-logic with integrated DirectX 9-class graphics core, up to 4GB of DDR2 memory, 2.5” 160GB hard drive, 5.1 channel audio, DVD burner and so on. Asrock NetTop S330 is rather small and comes with just 65W power supply unit.
It is not surprising that Asrock, traditionally a supplier of low-cost mainboards decided to enter the market of mobile computers. Firstly, the market is growing rather rapidly and inexpensive mobile computers have already become commodity, an area of Asrock’s expertise. Secondly, despite of falling profit margins, notebooks are still more profitable to make than mainboards.
It is much more surprising that Asrock decided to enter the rather undeveloped market of nettops, ultra low-cost personal computers that require peripherals to work. This market is hardly going to become big in short-term future and the fact that Asrock pins certain hopes on it may point to expected rapid growth in mid- to long-term future.