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Asus Pitches a $799 Entry-level Ultrabook

By - Source: Digitimes | B 37 comments

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.

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  • 11 Hide
    iceman1992 , May 12, 2012 2:25 PM
    Quote:
    it is rather unlikely that consumers will bite.
    Only then will Intel lower the price
  • 10 Hide
    shafe88 , May 12, 2012 2:49 PM
    iceman1992Only then will Intel lower the price

    By the time Intel does lowers their prices I'll be to late, cause people will have moved on to AMD's lower price ultrathin. Why spend a lot of money and get a fast processor and a slow gpu when you can spend less money and get a moderate speed processor and a fast gpu.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    iceman1992 , May 12, 2012 2:25 PM
    Quote:
    it is rather unlikely that consumers will bite.
    Only then will Intel lower the price
  • 3 Hide
    TheBigTroll , May 12, 2012 2:26 PM
    needs more SSD for cache. otherwise, it looks great
  • 10 Hide
    shafe88 , May 12, 2012 2:49 PM
    iceman1992Only then will Intel lower the price

    By the time Intel does lowers their prices I'll be to late, cause people will have moved on to AMD's lower price ultrathin. Why spend a lot of money and get a fast processor and a slow gpu when you can spend less money and get a moderate speed processor and a fast gpu.
  • 4 Hide
    ojas , May 12, 2012 3:59 PM
    shafe88By the time Intel does lowers their prices I'll be to late, cause people will have moved on to AMD's lower price ultrathin. Why spend a lot of money and get a fast processor and a slow gpu when you can spend less money and get a moderate speed processor and a fast gpu.

    I somehow don't know why anyone would use these ultra-portables for gaming, though. I've seen normal (and cheaper) notebooks face heat issues while gaming. Gaming notebooks exist for a reason...
  • 4 Hide
    daglesj , May 12, 2012 4:12 PM
    With a pathetic cheap ass 13x7 screen I bet!

    I bet it would only cost Asus an extra $2 to put in a decent res screen. Why do they keep spoiling nice kit with crappy cheap screens? You spend a fortune developing a nice case etc. but then spoil it all by skimping on the main part we look at.

    Madness.

  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2012 4:29 PM
    "By the time Intel does lowers their prices I'll be to late, cause people will have moved on to AMD's lower price ultrathin. Why spend a lot of money and get a fast processor and a slow gpu when you can spend less money and get a moderate speed processor and a fast gpu. "

    This is a notebook. The current HD4000 is faster than current AMD Llano GPU. Trinity will probably be faster but how much is not known right now. Calling HD4000 slow on the mobile side though is disengenuous. It is the best thing out right now. The CPU side is light years ahead in speed on the mobile side and Trinity doesn't seem to close any ground at first review. Thus, you are likely buying a much slower platform. You will likely pay less, but will the platform offer Thunderbolt and an SSD? What will the battery life be like? People will buy cheap, but they will receive cheap at the same time. $799 actually isn't bad if the battery life is good.
  • 3 Hide
    shafe88 , May 12, 2012 4:30 PM
    ojasI somehow don't know why anyone would use these ultra-portables for gaming, though.
    The same reason people use tablets for gaming.
  • 3 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , May 12, 2012 4:39 PM
    greghomeWell, This ZenBook does have a GT620M, which is about GT540M, so I wouldn't call it a slow GPU per say.Plus, at just 799, it's priced OK IMO.

    what about the battery life, and GPGPU, and the cost ...... AMD combine it in one single chip, this is what intel or nvidia don't have at the moment.
  • 6 Hide
    tntom , May 12, 2012 4:47 PM
    @ ChocoLoco

    People are buying Lano now because its integrated gpu more than makes up for being slower on the cpu side. HD4000 is not faster than Lano, do some research you might be comparing the desktop i7 HD4000 to the Mobile Lano which you would not see in an Ultrabook. CPUs now are all more than powerful enough for even moderate heavy users and certainly for gamers. It is the GPU that even light users crave more of. If you have been following Tom's recommendations for the past 4 years you will see they always recommend to save cash on the CPU side and put it towards the GPU side.
  • -2 Hide
    rohantheneo , May 12, 2012 5:06 PM
    Its true that Ultrabooks being used for Gaming will be a pretty rare occurrence. What they will be used for is Web Browsing, HD video Playback, Some office work and other entertainment features...and I think HD 4000 in Ivy Bridge is quite enough for these. Why don't they use the money used for a lower end GPU like GT620M to use in some other more useful options like a 48GB SSD+current HDD, a 900p screen etc! I would love such specs at $799..
    Also Intel does need to lower their prices by say 10-15%. How can they expect a PC with the same thickness as Mac, nearly same or better hardware, similar level aesthetics, while paying for full version of windows and still be substantially cheaper than MacBook Air so that large no. of people will buy them...JUST HOW??
  • 3 Hide
    jryan388 , May 12, 2012 5:09 PM
    FINALLY they seem to be putting acceptable graphics in these things!
  • 3 Hide
    stm1185 , May 12, 2012 6:39 PM
    Wonder how it compares to the high end trinity ultra thins that should be around that same price. With the dedicated graphics it could be a real winner.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2012 7:09 PM
    I did do research and every site posted says HD4000 on the mobile side (3610QM on up) is faster than the A8 mobile side. The Llano mobile is underclocked due to power efficiency issues. Also, the HD4000 mobile is higher clocked than the desktop side. Do your own research then get back to me.
  • 1 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , May 12, 2012 7:12 PM
    rohantheneoIts true that Ultrabooks being used for Gaming will be a pretty rare occurrence. What they will be used for is Web Browsing, HD video Playback, Some office work and other entertainment features...and I think HD 4000 in Ivy Bridge is quite enough for these. Why don't they use the money used for a lower end GPU like GT620M to use in some other more useful options like a 48GB SSD+current HDD, a 900p screen etc! I would love such specs at $799..Also Intel does need to lower their prices by say 10-15%. How can they expect a PC with the same thickness as Mac, nearly same or better hardware, similar level aesthetics, while paying for full version of windows and still be substantially cheaper than MacBook Air so that large no. of people will buy them...JUST HOW??

    if so... why don't they just use the brazos C-60, is good enough for all the things u mentioned, or u can even gaming on the brazos E-450, and is cheap!
  • 7 Hide
    Nintendork , May 12, 2012 7:26 PM
    @ChocoLocoo
    You're totally wrong. Intel HD4000 is way and i mean wayyyyyyyyyyyy slow than Llano IGP.

    Do you realize that you're comparing a top of line IB quad with high cpu frequency with a Llano that is clocked below 2Ghz? I can assure that most of that "reviews" are with uber-low details and uber-low resolution. In that case the cpu matters a lot so the IGP battle is totally wrong.

    It's the same when they compare an over $300 SB 3770K vs a $120 A8 3870K with 800x600/1024x768 low details. That intel "gpu" seems to be faster than it is, but is a flawed result. Even with that, Llano is FASTER.

    And you don't buy a top of line IB i7 mobile to use with it's craptastic gpu.

    Now compare what the average dual core SB/IB does and you will see they get destroyed by Llano. Mind you that the ULV 17 IB/SB have a castrated GPU and lose more than half of the performance on a regular dual core.

    FACT:
    SB/IB are no competition for Llano in gpu, and Trinity is even better than Llano (50%+ for mobile).
  • 1 Hide
    Nintendork , May 12, 2012 7:28 PM
    Also:
    GT620M is a crappy gpu, way slower than the GT540M. Trinity modile is as fast as a GT540M.
  • 7 Hide
    Nintendork , May 12, 2012 7:31 PM
    This shows how crappy the ultrabooks are, the 17w ULV can't even deliver an optimal multimedia performance and they need another crappy dedicated gpu, wich kills the battey and thickness.

    17-25w ULV Trinity offers more with less powerconsumption. A winner there, unless intel threatens OEM'S like before, the AMD APU's should be the only option if they want to make money,
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 12, 2012 7:48 PM
    Here is one review: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5772/mobile-ivy-bridge-and-asus-n56vm-preview
    Here is one review: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-4000-Benchmarked.73567.0.html

    "Intel has the upper hand by about 15 percent or more compared to AMD's Fusion Llano offerings."

    Outside of DX11, the HD4000 actually performs very well on the mobile side.

    "FACT:
    SB/IB are no competition for Llano in gpu, and Trinity is even better than Llano (50%+ for mobile)."

    FACT: You have no clue what a fact is.
  • 3 Hide
    siuol11 , May 12, 2012 8:55 PM
    Hahahha.
    "Outside of DX11, the HD4000 actually performs very well on the mobile side."
    Of course! Intel only loses on the one graphics standard everyone uses!"

    From the review:
    "Sandy Bridge processors provided excellent performance, great battery life, and reasonable graphics for most uses outside of gaming"

    The only way Intel "wins" is by using Optimus technology to switch to an external GPU when do anything like HD media playback or gaming. As an owner of a laptop with Optimus technology, I will say this; NEVER, EVER again. It's the most half-baked, obnoxious technology to ever come out of Nvidia. It sucks the big one. Now I try not to switch over to the external GPU even though things would run smoother because I'm tired of my programs crashing and my windows resizing every.time.I.plug.it.in.
  • 0 Hide
    erunion , May 12, 2012 9:08 PM
    shafe88By the time Intel does lowers their prices I'll be to late, cause people will have moved on to AMD's lower price ultrathin. Why spend a lot of money and get a fast processor and a slow gpu when you can spend less money and get a moderate speed processor and a fast gpu.


    The price difference between the cpu isn't that great. The bulk of the couple hundred dollar difference between ultrabooks and AMD's ultrathins comes from cutting features.
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