Asus has unveiled an ultrabook with a launch price that targets the upper end of the mainstream market.
The UX32VD will carry a suggested retail price of $799, including an Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5-3317U processor. However, this may not be the breakthrough for ultrabooks that Intel is waiting for.
The 1.7 GHz (17 watt) processor, GeForce GT620M graphics chip, and hybrid storage (500 GB HDD, 24 GB SSD) put this ultrabook square in the entry-level segment with a price tag that represents a $200 premium over a comparable traditional notebooks currently on the market. Intel is hoping to break the $700 barrier for ultrabooks this year, but there is clearly some tension as PC makers are complaining about high CPU prices and Intel's unwillingness to hand out more discounts.
If PC makers are compromising on the build quality and essential components of such devices, it is rather unlikely that consumers will bite.