Asustek Computer is slated to host a product launch conference for Ultrabooks in New York City this October. According to company chairman Jonney Shih, Asus will reveal five to six different Ultrabook models it plans to launch this year. These will range in price from $899 USD to $1,999 USD, and will also feature screens measuring 11.6-inches and 13.3-inches.
Shih also stated that Asus has been able to lower the overall cost of its Ultrabooks thanks to the recent price drop of several key components such as panels and DRAM. He also expects both Asus and Acer to rule the Ultrabook market for a while given that Dell and Toshiba are supposedly taking a cautious approach, and because HP is "abandoning" its PC business (something HP denies).
Sources from upstream component players claim that Intel still isn't listening to requests from downstream partners to lower Ultrabook CPU prices. However, the CPU giant is offering "extra assistance" to allow partners to launch models under the $1000 USD pricetag.
Asus expects 20-percent of its laptops shipments for 2012 to consist of Intel's Ultrabook design, whereas 2013 will likely provide a larger percentage. Previously Asus chief executive Jerry Shin indicated that Intel's projected 40-percent target was "aggressive," and would likely not be achieved before 2013.
"The CPU for Ultrabooks is very powerful, so there is a heat problem that is very difficult to resolve," Shin said. He also added that the supply chain producing specialized components for the Ultrabook design is currently limited -- Asus alone will only be able to manufacture 200,000 units maximum per month. To push past this limit, additional investments will need to be made in order to boost capacity.
We already know that the Asus UX21 will likely be the first Asus Ultrabook out the door in October, measuring 7-mm at the back and thinning out to a mere 3-mm at the front. It will be powered by Intel's 1.7 GHz Core i5-2557M processor (up to Core i7) and feature metal chiclet keys, a glass touchpad, 64 GB or 128 GB of storage, a mini-DisplayPort, a mini-HDMI port, USB 3.0 ports and more.