Intel cancels Atom processors and what it means for ZenPad tablets

intel_logoThe Intel Atom processor has been around for quite some time. It was the go to processor for netbooks and since then, Intel and partners have used it in mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. With some recent Intel changes and cost cutting, the Intel Atom will be no more. Some of the current ZenPad tablets, most of them actually, use Intel Atom processors.

It would appear that Asus turned to these Atom processors thanks in part to the Intel subsidy that was offered. The Intel subsidy plan was ended in 2015 and as a result, Asus has been shifting to other processors for their mobile products like the Snapdragon and MediaTek offerings.

There have been articles written in the recent past about Asus and their plans for the next generation Zenfone which is going to use a Snapdragon processor rather than the Intel Atom from the previous generation of the phone. Change was certainly already in the air. We’ve seen two recent FCC submissions for ZenPad tablets that were using MediaTek processors which was a bit surprising but it makes sense now.

We’ve also read an official statement from Intel that their upcoming Apollo Lake processors will in fact be offered to tablet manufacturers. This could be an interesting wrinkle. Android tablets require a low price point and if there isn’t a subsidy being offered, it will be interesting to see if Asus looks at Apollo Lake in late 2016 or 2017. We will be watching for developments.

Great prices has been a staple of Asus products. With Intel no longer providing an option, Asus loses the subsidy, which means to keep a low price point, it’s quite possible that a majority of next generation ZenPad tablets will have MediaTek processors. Snapdragon are more premium priced and may be utilized in 4G LTE enabled Asus ZenPad tablets. The majority are likely going to go with the lower priced MediaTek in our opinion.

With either MediaTek or Snapdragon processors being used in the future Asus tablets, we don’t see any real negatives for consumers. The only question mark right now is to see the prices that Asus is able to achieve without the Intel subsidy in place. We’re watching and we will post details on the next generation ZenPad tablets as we discover information!


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