back to article Ultrabook prices to fall as manufacturers slash margins

Manufacturers are cutting their margins to the bone, and getting a subsidy from Intel, in an effort to make ultrabooks more affordable. Acer, Asustek Computer and Toshiba may be able to put out hardware below the critical $1,000 mark, unnamed sources told DigiTimes, and by 2012 prices could drop by up to 10 per cent. Intel is …


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  1. Slackness


    Whooopee fucking 'd', nobody I know will be looking for new tin. 10%..? really? Too generous, they have priced themselves into the 'Apple do better zone'. Clap Clap....

  2. Anonymous Coward

    follow the white rabbit

    President Jim Wong maybe need a reality check. How are these people researching the market?!

  3. Simon Brown 1

    Ultrabooks already out?

    Didn't think anything could be called an Ultrabook unless it had Ivy Bridge processors, which don't come out to next year... Or is this manufacturers trying to find ways to use up stocks of Sandy Bridge processors?

  4. Robert E A Harvey


    > HP... ultrabooks out in time for the Christmas

    Time to find out what they learned from pricing the TouchPud the same as the iPud.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MacBook Air...

    doesn't look so expensive now does it?

    1. R 11

      To be fair, the $999 MacBook air has 2GB RAM, not enough by most estimations for a good user experience, only a 64GB SSD and an 11 inch screen.

      A 13" screen with 4GB RAM and a more useful 128GB SSD will set you back $1,300.

      If the big box manufacturers can churn out 13" ultrabooks with 4GB RAM and a decent size SSD priced at $900, the MacBook air will be carrying a $400 surcharge. I'd say that still looks quite expensive.

      1. Blank Reg

        They are already there

        I've seen i5 based 13.1 ultrabooks with a 128GB SSD and 4GB ram for $899 and with 6GB for $999, and that wasn't even on sale.

        1. ToddRundgren
          Thumb Up

          @Blank Reg

          Can you tell me where please?

      2. Mikel

        @R 11

        You know, 2GB might be a bit scant for Windows 7 to give a good user experience, but I hear Mac OSX isn't utter crap that burns clock cycles and memory allocations like they're tainted sheets. People tend to really like their Macbook Airs, hence the logarithmic growth in their sales numbers.

        Maybe these vendors should think about getting a less sucktackular software base and optimizing around that if they want to make money. Or they can continue compete with Apple at prices on par with Apple, but with bulked up BOM costs to support the Redmond crud and see what that gets them.

        One way or another _somebody_ is going to keep offering us what we want, and we're going to keep throwing our money at them. Everybody else gets to go away now.

        The winds of change, they're blowin'.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @R 11

        Thats $360 which you then subtract the cost of programming a better UNIX based OS, better build quality, iCloud and R&D. Also anyone selling a laptop that costs them $940 for $900 could be in a spot of financial trouble down the road

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Didn't think anything could be called an Ultrabook <...>"

    Who says that? Is Ultrabook someone's trademark, or what?

    Oh, Wikipedia says it's an Intel trademark. Funny you don't see that mentioned in the articles much.

    1. Brendan Sullivan

      Except where it is explicitly stated, like in the article you are commenting on.

  7. Peter Rowan

    Actually the article does mention the trade mark...

    It is in the fourth paragraph. Read the article again before jumping on your high horse.

  8. rlow

    I will see you in 2013.

    and I expect a discount.

  9. Shagbag


    From the DigiTimes article:

    "Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and Dell will launch ultrabooks starting mid-November"

    Date of the DigiTimes article: 30 November 2011.

    Go figure.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, after years of hearing

    That you could get the same hardware for so much less, when the manufacturers do actually deliver very similar hardware to Apple, it's priced more or less the same as an Apple. Well done!

    1. ToddRundgren


      Common denominator is Intel. When Apple was a non-x86 vendor Intel wanted them, so they offer big discounts. Apple being pretty bright tie these prices in for several years. The Taiwanese were with Wintel, so pretty much had to accept whatever margins they could get, with Intel creaming off big margins.

      It will be interesting to see what happens with Tegra3 based Android laptops from Acer, Asus and Lenovo??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Android laptops? I haven't been following all of this closely (not having a laptop or a generous employer) but I had thought Android is an OS.

        As an OS, does it have apps that are industry standard (or at least compatible) such as Excel or Word? Does the MacBook Air use iOS?

        Not disputin' whilst computin', but enquiring minds want to know.

  11. James 51

    There are ultrabooks out there but they are running the first generation of the hardware. I thought most manufactures were wating for ivy bridge.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    *THIS* article mentions the trademark.

    But a great many others on this site don't. Ask your favourite search engine how many articles (on this site or elsewhere) mention the word ultrabook, then ask how few also mention the word trademark. For a bit of variation see how many mention Intel.

    Who's on their high horse now?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    And the inevitable race to the bottom begins.

  14. dogged


    That'll be 1300GBP, then.

    Thieving bastards.

  15. Hoagiebot

    Ultrabook? What's that?

    Where is the marketing for these things? I like to think of myself as a relatively technologically savvy person, but I don't think that I have ever even heard the term "Ultrabook" mentioned outside of the articles that I read here on The Register. Where are all of the Ultrabook television ads? Why haven't I seen them featured prominently at large electronics stores such as Frys? If Intel and the Ultrabook manufacturers want to really succeed at selling these things, they really need to drive home the existence of these products into the minds of their customers and turn the term "Ultrabook" into a household name, just like how "MacBook" is a household name.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      You're right

      I haven't seen them marketed anywhere. A quick search of with the term 'ultrabook' reveals only three computers identified as Ultrabooks in the title, and a few bags and stuff.

      Maybe they are only being actively marketed in the USA?

    2. Bronek Kozicki

      "ultrabook" as a brand name carries little weight

      and as such you actually don't see it often, outside of sales channel and spec sheets.

      However the train I'm commuting on everyday is all plastered with ads of Toshiba Z830. The point is that vendors matter, models matter, specific selling points that customers are willing to pay for ("thin" "light" "fast") matter.

  16. Alan Denman

    A hundred conspiracy theories and no doubt many are true

    It looks like Intel have a long term partnership with Apple as part of their survival plan.

    Why sell anything to those who wish to supply the public with budget offerings?

    It ain't worth it so by overpricing they may actually increase sales elsewhere!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non-apple Ultrabook screens still suck

    Stick a screen that's got a better than 1366x768 res into one, and I might actually be interested.

    1. Jon Green


      Try the Asus Zenbook UX31 - it has Core i5 and i7 CPU options, 128GB or 256GB SSD...and a 1600x900 screen. And, yes, I'm lusting after one. Even if I can't upgrade the 4GB RAM or carry a spare battery (standard failings amongst Ultrabooks).

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