back to article Europeans turn backs on Ultrabooks

Europeans don't want Ultrabooks - and their lack of interest in the platform will hit Intel's platform market share forecast where it hurts. So reckon Taiwanese notebook component makers, quoted by DigiTimes, some of who have suggested that far from accounting for 40 per cent of the notebook market, as Intel has predicted, …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. melt

    extra 10%

    I guess it's because at the price the PC Ultrabooks are going for, I might as well spend the extra 10% and get the Mac. The PCs just aren't cheap enough.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Or only Apple fans prepared to buy overpriced shinyness?

    2. Euchrid

      Re: extra 10%


      Price is something that does appear to be an issue.

      In most cases, I would say the PC price is roughly the same as the Apple price. When the former are significantly cheaper (and I’m talking over 10%), it’s models that haven’t shifted – for example, the ACER ASPIRE S3 first retailed for £900 (so fifty quid more than the entry level MacBook Air) and although some retailers are charging that much, it can be had for £300 less.

      So far, just about every review I’ve read of ultrabooks – and I’ll add a disclaimer that I’ve hardly read *every* single review of *every* model– is that they have been niggles. These vary, but generally these are niggles (e.g. badly-designed keyboard) that aren’t found on Apple’s offerings. However, a lot of punters aren’t going to do a huge amount of research, so I suspect the allure of Apple is playing a big part.

      The issue raised by manufacturers was that if Intel wanted ultrabooks under $ 1,000 then it would have to offer discount its processors and subsidise manufacturing marketing. There’s been a lot written about this – e.g. The entry level MacBook retails for $999, so straight off the bat there looked like issues for rival companies undercutting Apple or even producing comparable competiting products for the same money.

      1. melt
        Thumb Up

        Re: Re: extra 10%


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Until tablets and ultrabooks....

    Come down in price to such a degree that a 'good enough' one costs relatively peanuts, I can't see them making massive headway.*

    The cheapness of notebooks/desktops, plus the fact you can have a decent sized screen and keyboard is still attractive to a lot of people.

    *Ok granted, 20% share is probably nothing to be sniffed at, but I mean beyond that.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where are the cheap 12" notebooks?

    I don't want a monstrous 15" notebook.

    I don't want a 10" Netbook with barely enough power to render web pages.

    I don't want a 12" Ultra book in shiny mental and SSD drive which will set me back close to £1000.

    I just want a bog standard cheap laptop with a smaller screen - it doesn't have to be wafer thin - in fact I would prefer if it wasn't. So if they can flog cheap 15" laptops in PC World, why aren't there any cheap 12" laptops on display (that are not under powered netbooks or hugely expensive Ultra-books) ??

    1. The BigYin


      And with a matte screen, please!

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      It's weight, not size, that matters

      I have a portable, because it's, well, portable. For email/surfing/presentations 12" is fine, it fits a docking station with a pair of 1680x1050 monitors on my desk if I need it to and doesn't pull my shoulder off when hanging about in an airport between flights. It's cheap enough that neither I nor my company will be too upset if it dies after a few hard years.

      For the big jobs I have a home desktop with lots of slots for additional cards &disks, and no worries about power consumption.

      £1000+ for a skinny and unnecessarily powerful system that can't make up its mind what it wants to be? Why?

    3. DrXym Silver badge


      "So if they can flog cheap 15" laptops in PC World, why aren't there any cheap 12" laptops on display (that are not under powered netbooks or hugely expensive Ultra-books) ??"

      Because in laptop land people have traditionally paid more money for light and small devices.

      Problem for Intel is that preconception disappeared when the market was flooded with netbooks. People could get a cheap and functional PC in a form factor which served as an excellent machine for holidays, travel etc. So now the value proposition is all screwed up. I can buy a netbook for £200 so what exactly is in an Ultrabook to justify nearly £700 worth of difference in price?

      Okay so perhaps ultrathin batteries, SSDs and screens do add a premium but is it £700 of a difference? And even if it were, who can justify spending a premium to get it when an equivalent specced laptop albeit in a thicker form factor costs substantially less.

      1. Jonathon Green

        Dr Xym: "People could get a cheap and functional PC in a form factor which served as an excellent machine for holidays, travel etc."

        Here's my take on small format portables - if I have a machine which is light, compact, and has good enough battery life for me to take it anywhere then I will. For me at least this means it also has to cheap enough that (assuming I've been sensible about keeping the important data safe) I'm not going to burst into tears when, as inevitably will happen, I drop it in a swimming pool, leave it on a bus, or it falls out of the tank bag of a motorcycle at 80 MPH or so. A Netbook at £~200 is just about in that bracket - an Ultrabook at £~1000 emphatically is not!

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          I agree

          I take a netbook on my hols because it lets me surf and do other stuff albeit in a small form factor. And if it did get stolen or the kids spilled coke over it then I would shed tears but certainly not as many as if it were a premium ultrabook costing 4x the price.

    4. Geoff Campbell

      HP DM1

      With roughly the same list of requirements, I found an HP DM1 in PC World for £350. Nice small and relatively light package, reasonable performance, decent but not huge screen, HDMI output for when a bigger screen is handy. Also decent battery life, too. And cheap enough that I won't lose too much sleep if it does have an unfortunate accident whilst I'm travelling, although none of my previous laptops have.

      I think the thing with Ultrabooks is always going to be that Windows laptops aren't generally items of desire, they are working tools. And as such, getting one that is a little bigger and made of plastic, for 30% of the price of the skinny aluminium version, is always going to be an easy decision.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HP DM1

        Ah yeah the DM1 is more like the specs I'd want. I hadn't seen that before. I'll check it out.

        Hows the dual-core AMD E-450 processor stack up?

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          Re: Re: HP DM1

          There is a very positive review right here on the reg

        2. Geoff Campbell


          Performance is a lot better than I expected - on paper, it should be a bit better than an Atom, in reality it's a lot quicker, and very usable indeed with Windows 7 on, very nicely responsive. Definitely up there with the Acer 2930 running an Intel Core 2 Duo at >2GHz that it replaced.


    5. Kyoraki

      Netbooks? Underpowered? Barely enough power to render a webpage? Nonsense. Even with one of the single core 1.6Ghz atom jobs, you can decode 1080p if you play your cards right. And by play your cards right, I mean ditch that horrifying mess that is Win7 Starter, ergo the penguin.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        @ Kyoraki

        No idea why you were voted down for stating simple facts. (Well, actually a few.) My netbook's never run Windows and I've never missed it. Next step: Linux + Arm so I can ditch the oversized extended battery and I will have a true notebook (the paper things, I mean) replacement.

  4. The BigYin

    Prices are dropping?

    Since when? I am still waiting for an affordable, decent spec netbook (never mind notebook).

  5. Nick Kew Bronze badge

    Fix the power consumption / battery life!

    So who's going to be first to market with a laptop (of any screen size) with an E-Ink screen, ARM processor, and enough battery life to take backpacking away from regular recharges?

    1. Martin
      Thumb Up


      It's called a Kindle.

      1. Nick Kew Bronze badge

        Re: Amazon.

        Martin, do you disagree with the comments on ?

  6. toffer99

    There's a worldwide recession/depression. So Intel, worried about its non-presence in phones, offers us some nice, poky little machines -but at an exorbitant price.

    I'm looking for one, but I wouldn't pay more that £700. Anything selling for close to £1000 has me pointing and laughing.

  7. Mage Silver badge

    1500 lines

    For 11.6" long document at 133dpI, you need more than 1500 lines.

    Widescreen makes 15" screens too poor on vertical. We need 4 x 3 or even square screens.

    The obsession with video is really annoying. Besides most cinema is actually NOT 16:9

    To replace a 15.5" approx 1600 x 1200 ten year old 4:3 laptop you now need an 18" machine. Crazy.

    Ultrabooks/macair/Ultrathin are a pointless luxury format.

  8. DrXym Silver badge

    Can't think why

    What's not to like about a laptop with a 2-3x markup over a functionally equivalent conventional model simply because the case is a bit thinner?

    I think that when manufacturers lower the margins and stop using materials like aluminium as an excuse to boost the price that they might just become a bit more popular.

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Up


      I'm sure I'm not the only laptop buyer who looks at an ultrabook and instead of saying "ah, that is an ultrabook and therefore should rightly be priced highly" says "ah, that's pretty, but a bit pricey. Hmm, this laptop over here is half the price and not that much heavier..."

  9. RachelG


    People always say Apple kit is overpriced. But hey, see what happens when someone else - companies known for producing cheap kit - try to match them. They can't get them significantly enough cheaper than the Apple to make it worthwhile for non-Apple-haters to not choose the apple.

    So is Apple's stuff really overpriced?

    1. thesykes

      Yes, it is. And so are the Windows ultrathins. Difference is, Mac lovers will happily pay a ridiculous price, Windows users won't.

      1. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Guess what, when you come to sell the Apple laptop you get a really good price for it. Try that with a generic PC laptop.

        When buying cars people talk about depreciation, well just like a desirable car (VW Golf, BMW 3 Series) depreciation is much less with an Apple laptop. That alone is worth paying the extra for IMHO.

        Or buy your PC laptop (or Citroen C5) and get nothing for it when you come to sell.

        1. Mark 65

          @Giles Jones

          "Guess what, when you come to sell the Apple laptop you get a really good price for it. Try that with a generic PC laptop."

          Yes, but the Apple laptop cost a lot more to start off with. A lower depreciation on a higher priced item might still work out as a greater loss than the increased depreciation on a cheaper item i.e. Benz GL v Hyundai Santa Fe. The Benz may depreciate by a lower percentage but it's a fuck-load more expensive to start with.

    2. annodomini2


      Because Apple has been charging over the odds for it's stuff for years and due to it's current brand image, the other manufacturers want a slice of the pie and are trying to over charge for their stuff.

      As Apple own and control OSX there are no other options to get that on a machine, other than hacking OSX on to a laptop or PC.

      However the Ultrabook market faces an uphill struggle as the existing systems do basically the same job for a lot less money, so unless you want the fashion factor of the Ultrabook, they're overpriced!

  10. Bruce 6

    Manufacturers need to get real.

    People wouldn't have bought iPads at £1k a pop. That's a fact. Theya re not essential (not yet anyway) so have been priced accordlingly. If folk are interested in ultra books it will be because if helps them achieve something new, and that comes at a price which many precieve as being too expensive. I would like a portable device with a 15" screen (13.3 is too small for me) for my photography work. I don't need it to have the fastest processor, the most RAM, a 1tb harddrive or SSD for that matter, a wacky graphics chip etc. I just would like it to be well built, have moderate power (i3 is cool), good screen but not silly, of a decent weight (sub 2kg), look nice, come with good tech support and not cost the earth. I think these will sell like hotcakes. I suspect the market will pay more for portability and service but not double the price.

  11. big_D Silver badge

    No favours...

    Intel didn't do the Ultrabook any favours, by launching it in Q4 last year and announcing, that the next revision would come in Q1, with Ivy Bridge, oh and we are planning 3 generations, with the 3rd generation having touch.

    Talk about killing an idea off, before it is born.

  12. Compact101

    Some of the problems is that people have different requirements for PC's, which often overlap the silly group names.

    I don't want a netbook, ultrabook, superbook or thebestestbook, I personally want a laptop, that is:

    Powerful enough for: office, internet, watching video's, editing photos and occasionally editing video from snowboarding (games would be nice but I have a PS3).

    Battery: I would like it to have 6hours of normal use, though I know it will be a bit heavier (if batteries were cheaper, they could come with a slim 3hr battery and stylish, but heavy 6/8hr one as I have on my work'slenovo T500)

    Screensize: Large enough to use, all the grads get the manbag size 11 & 13inch and regret it after a while. I like to have a wide screen 15inch so I can have email and word open, or 2 excel docs, (or a video and firefox :) side by side for multi tasking and making life easier

    I would like it to be stylish, sleek and not too heavy (when I think apple I think these, when I think PC, only Sony and some samsung come close, but then they are plasticy and break easy, all my perception of course).

    But as said this is just me, I travel a lot in hotels most weeks, watch movies, use the internet, work with multiple docs, tools and screens.

    The problem is the marketing, media and pigeon holing of machines. Really people prefer cheaper machines at the moment, possibly due to price or screensize.

    Also if I am going to splash out, then might as well splash out on Apple as they make good stuff, that is nice to use, lasts and has good customer service, thus worth the higher price (which can be seen in the tablet and phone markets)

  13. jef_

    Are Apples over-priced?

    Not when you account unglamorous but very real depreciation factor. Just before Christmas I sold a 15" Macbook Pro from early 2006 for a shade over £400. Cost £1150 new (well, Apple refurb). So cost to me just under £11 a month (no repairs /replacements etc needed). Oh yes and I sold an iPhone 3GS (16GB) for about £200 in July which I'd had for nearly two years.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Are Apples over-priced?

      not to mention the fact that the next version of osx is unlikely to need x3 ram to run as we found in the xp to W7 jump.

      Apple have taken the time to balance their configs and the MBA meets one of their market segments. Lack of A/V is probably one reason (just guessing) that the performance of OSX holds up.

      1. nichomach

        Re: Re: Are Apples over-priced?

        That's just silly - we've found that W7 performance on any decent machine is equal to or better than XP performance.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020