Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Intel Having Problems Getting Those Ultrabooks Under $1000

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 43 comments

The super slim notebooks won't be so cheap.

At Computex 2011, Intel unveiled a new form factor of notebook it calls the Ultrabook. Essentially, it's an extremely thin and light notebook that's powered by Sandy Bridge-class processors – not unlike the new MacBook Airs from Apple.

While Acer and Asus have signed on to make Ultrabooks, they may not be able to hit that magical under-$1000 mark that Intel wants – despite having the platform already being subsidized by Intel.

Notebook Italia reports that Acer will launch its Ultrabook in Q4 2011, but it will arrive with a price of four digits. Another source told Slashgear that Asus UX31 and UX21 Ultrabooks will be over $1000 as well, unless a sacrifice is made to drop the CPU down to a Core i3. Models with Core i5 and i7, paired with SSDs, will range between $1000 to $2000.

It seems that the MacBook Air line isn't carrying as much of an "Apple tax" this time around.

Display 43 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    tmk221 , July 27, 2011 12:12 PM
    it carry intel tax due to no competition from AMD

    am I the only one who starts to lose hope about bulldozer?
  • 22 Hide
    Thunderfox , July 27, 2011 12:49 PM
    Or they could just make it 10% thicker and probably half the price...
  • 19 Hide
    jacobdrj , July 27, 2011 1:23 PM
    There are people who work, and travel, but have a hard enough time lugging around their own luggage, and LOVE the idea of carrying '1kg less weight...'

    There is a market for this, even if some of the more vocal Tom's Hardware posters are hardcore performance buffs, and therefore don't understand this...

    I love my desktop. I pimp it out with the latest and greatest, no matter how much copper I have to strap on to my silicon to keep it cool... But I want battery life and portability (small weight/size) when I am on the road... Every ounce of spared weight counts...
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    tmk221 , July 27, 2011 12:12 PM
    it carry intel tax due to no competition from AMD

    am I the only one who starts to lose hope about bulldozer?
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 27, 2011 12:15 PM
    well well, now that there's competition on the horizon, looks like Jobs is letting the ole Apple premium drop a little
  • 6 Hide
    nebun , July 27, 2011 12:17 PM
    ha ha ha.....get used to it....quality and form factor is going to cost...most companies don't know this...and the same goes for a majority of the people out there
  • 22 Hide
    Thunderfox , July 27, 2011 12:49 PM
    Or they could just make it 10% thicker and probably half the price...
  • 4 Hide
    enewmen , July 27, 2011 12:53 PM
    I like the basic idea of having large notebook power in a smaller package at a price near $1000. Hope Intel, Asus, Acer, and others can pull it off - but with more ports than the photo suggests. An 11" Llano Ultrabook will also be great.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 27, 2011 12:55 PM
    I just cant get over the Less is More theory!
  • 2 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , July 27, 2011 1:11 PM
    overpriced
  • 19 Hide
    jacobdrj , July 27, 2011 1:23 PM
    There are people who work, and travel, but have a hard enough time lugging around their own luggage, and LOVE the idea of carrying '1kg less weight...'

    There is a market for this, even if some of the more vocal Tom's Hardware posters are hardcore performance buffs, and therefore don't understand this...

    I love my desktop. I pimp it out with the latest and greatest, no matter how much copper I have to strap on to my silicon to keep it cool... But I want battery life and portability (small weight/size) when I am on the road... Every ounce of spared weight counts...
  • -2 Hide
    ojas , July 27, 2011 1:27 PM
    i hope to be able to buy something like this or the samsung series 9 notebook (which is sort of like an ultrabook at a high price) at around 1K about 4 years from now, when intel get their 10/14mm processors going. Hopefully SSDs would have become cheaper and more reliable by then as well.

    What i really hope ultrabooks manage to do is have gesture support like macbooks (and the samsung 9 series) do, because that + win8 (or whatever)+ 1kg weight + great performance would be really stiff competition to Apple.

    I think a 13+ inch ultrabook with all this would just be sooo cool. And they'll be much more than just a fancy thing, they'd be bang for buck for a lot of people, imo.

    Keep innovating bitches! :D 
  • 0 Hide
    CoffeeDrinker , July 27, 2011 1:34 PM
    I think Acer or Asus will be able to get the pricing down only if Intel stops making a huge profit on there products. Intel always has been overpriced. That is why they can try make demands of a lower priced laptop.
  • 2 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , July 27, 2011 1:34 PM
    greghomeI still ain't paying the premium so I can carry 1kg less weight.....I mean, seriously? over 1k for a Core i5 mobile system ? I can get one in "standard form factor" at just over half that price..

    You're getting more than that.
    I just got my MacBook Air 13", it gives me aluminum uni-body that doesn't feel cheap. It gives me some of the best screen on the market. It gives me up-to 7 hours of battery. It gives me the cool-hand-gestures.
    Most importantly, it boots up in 15 seconds and shuts down in 2 seconds, that made all my other windows machine jealous(btw, I got like 5 windows machine at home and 1 Mac).
  • 6 Hide
    jacobdrj , July 27, 2011 1:44 PM
    amdwilliam1985You're getting more than that.I just got my MacBook Air 13", it gives me aluminum uni-body that doesn't feel cheap. It gives me some of the best screen on the market. It gives me up-to 7 hours of battery. It gives me the cool-hand-gestures.Most importantly, it boots up in 15 seconds and shuts down in 2 seconds, that made all my other windows machine jealous(btw, I got like 5 windows machine at home and 1 Mac).


    And for the working professional, those start-up/shutdown times are critical... Those and the battery life/weight/screen quality, professionals will pay a premium for, especially since there are no other competitors in this segment yet...

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 27, 2011 1:58 PM
    I recently got a Toshiba R830. It's an i7-2620M, 13", at a little over 3 lbs with the 6 cell battery (although it has a ODD, which I could do without), but 'thicker' than a MacBook Air - and presumably, than an ultrabook.

    I do look at it as a compromise, as I would rather have a 13" MacBook Air for a couple of reasons (namely the battery - this Toshiba, with this battery, does a little more than 6 hours in light office use, and the 9 cell battery adds around another lb - and the backlit keyboard), but this Toshiba cost (equivalent to) ~~650 USD plus taxes, and it's thin and light enough for me.

    Right now some of us still have to compromise, yes, but look at what happened when the netbooks came to be... It will take a couple of years, but we'll get good 'ultrabooks' under 1000k soon.
  • 1 Hide
    molo9000 , July 27, 2011 2:04 PM
    jacobdrj especially since there are no other competitors in this segment yet...


    There is the Samsung Series 9 and the Sony Vaio Z, but both are more expensive.
  • 3 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , July 27, 2011 2:15 PM
    molo9000There is the Samsung Series 9 and the Sony Vaio Z, but both are more expensive.


    Exactly, that's what I told my friends, MacBook Air 13" is the cheapest in it's category.
  • 2 Hide
    AnUnusedUsername , July 27, 2011 2:30 PM
    There have also been quite a few in the past, Falcon Northwest makes one in the I/O, Voodoo's Envy 133 was thin and powerful when it was avaliable, There's a few lenovos that were aimed at a thin form factor, the vaios already mentioned, and many more out there. They all have been over $1000, but also under $2000 reasonably configured, so at least cheaper than the mac alternative while remaining more powerful. More is better, of course. Pretty much every "light and thin" windows laptop design so far has failed, as no one want's to pay the premium for the better build quality required for a thinner design. Those that have the money generally just buy a mac and run windows on it, probably because the better windows options aren't popular or well known.
  • -1 Hide
    sunflier , July 27, 2011 2:58 PM
    If the herds of sheeple will fork over $$ for Apple products there will be smart(er) consumers who spend $$ for devices like the Ultrabook and it won't not because they're elitist snobs. They simply have a use for them and b/c they have an alternative to similiar Apple products.
  • 1 Hide
    jungleboogiemonster , July 27, 2011 3:33 PM
    I used to be big on ultra-portables until I owned one. They make too many sacrifices and reliability has been an issue for me, so I'm sticking to normal form factors in the future. The gains from a slight size increase are worth it.
  • -1 Hide
    pcwlai , July 27, 2011 3:53 PM
    AnUnusedUsernameThere have also been quite a few in the past, Falcon Northwest makes one in the I/O, Voodoo's Envy 133 was thin and powerful when it was avaliable, There's a few lenovos that were aimed at a thin form factor, the vaios already mentioned, and many more out there. They all have been over $1000, but also under $2000 reasonably configured, so at least cheaper than the mac alternative while remaining more powerful. More is better, of course. Pretty much every "light and thin" windows laptop design so far has failed, as no one want's to pay the premium for the better build quality required for a thinner design. Those that have the money generally just buy a mac and run windows on it, probably because the better windows options aren't popular or well known.


    When compares component wise, I don't find Vaio or similar products from other brands really provide a lot more for the average user on a daily basis.

    And when it comes to usability, Apple is the champion. It is possible to listen to music with MacBook Air speakers and do a video group chat with clear voices coming out and recorded in.

    Other brands? I don't think it is worth trying (of course, tried and compared).
  • 2 Hide
    damianrobertjones , July 27, 2011 3:53 PM
    I'm sorry but we really don't need another name for what's really already available
Display more comments