Yes, those $700 Ultrabooks are coming, but not until next year.
We have been hearing about $700 Ultrabooks for quite some time and it appears that PC vendors are now aiming for this price point in a much more determined way. Digitimes quotes supply chain makers in Taiwan claiming that there will be many $699 Ultrabooks available next year.
Not surprisingly, these will be not the kind of systems you are going to brag about. For $700, you can expect "fiberglass-reinforced plastic or metal-plastic hybrid chassis, slim HDDs or HDD/SSD hybrid drives, conventional batteries and non-touch screens," the publication wrote. The purpose of these computers is simply to generate sales volume and help the category get off the ground.
If you want the aluminum unibody or carbon-fiber chassis, SSDs, Li-polymer batteries and Windows 8 touch screens, you will still have to shell out at least $1,000 next year. Research coming out of Taiwan estimates global Ultrabook sales to end up at about 16.7 million units this year, and 31.6 million units in 2013. A recent study published by IHS slashed a previous Ultrabook unit forecast from 22 to just 10.3 million units for this year. IHS forecasts 44 million Ultrabooks to be sold next year.