Intel's low-cost laptops to expand to U.S., Europe

BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:13pm EDT

Craig Barrett (C), chairman of Intel, looks on as a student of Gwarinpa secondary school uses a laptop computer in Abuja, Nigeria, October 31, 2007. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Craig Barrett (C), chairman of Intel, looks on as a student of Gwarinpa secondary school uses a laptop computer in Abuja, Nigeria, October 31, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

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BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Intel Corp (INTC.O), the world's biggest computer chip maker, will soon expand its distribution of low-cost educational laptops to retail distributors in the United States and Europe, a company executive said on Wednesday.

Computer makers will start selling Intel-designed Classmate PCs in those markets for about $250 to $350, making them the latest super low-cost laptops to go on sale in the developed world, said Lila Ibrahim, general manager of Intel's emerging market platform's group.

The chip maker has conducted pilot tests of those devices at schools in the United States and Australia, she said, but declined to name those institutions.

She said that manufacturers in India, Mexico and Indonesia have already begun selling Classmate PC laptops on the retail market.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle in Boston and Duncan Martell in San Francisco)

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