The Ultrabook Revoltion ... is all in the mind of the professional fortune tellers

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | October 2, 2012 - 04:27 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, Intel, haswell, told you so, fail

We've not been kind to the idea of Ultrabooks here at PC Perspective, even some of the models we reviewed were rated very highly.  The product is nice for those who want an ultra-light, ultra-thin computer with instant resume from sleep and a very long battery life and frankly, who wouldn't like that.  The problem was in the implementation of the design, in order to meet the hardware requirements and the materials required to make a sturdy yet thin device the price soared well above the $600 price point that Intel originally reported an Ultrabook would sell for.  In order to meet all the specifications from the original PR, the price was over $1000 which significantly shrunk the number of consumers willing to purchase an Ultrabook.  Some manufacturers chose instead to compromise and not include all of the hardware originally listed, often the SSD but in other cases we saw lesser LCD panels used or a less sturdy chassis, which lowered the price but also made less consumers interested in purchasing an Ultrabook.

The Ultrabook dream has taken a big hit today as those in the market who predict sales have finally admitted they vastly overestimated the success of the Ultrabook.  Most of these companies sales predictions, such as the iSuppli numbers referenced by The Register, have been sliced in half. Instead of admitting the numbers were inflated they referenced the growing tablet and smartphone market, neither of which devices can manage any task an Ultrabook could apart from the mobility.  An Ultrabook was originally touted as a full computer, not a low powered mobile device. 

From what DigiTimes heard Intel is convinced that Haswell will change all of that somehow, with the new processor making the Ultrabook much more attractive to customers.  Of course they don't mention the pricing, which may fall a bit over the next year thanks to the dropping prices of SSDs but it is doubtful that Haswell will be cheaper than its predecessors.  It is unknown at this point if Intel will continue to provide the cash incentives to manufacturers that they have over the past year but if they want any hope of manufacturers producing the next generation of Ultrabook.  As it stands many major vendors are not interested in designing a new generation of Ultrabook as it is not a product that they made much profit on during the first generation.  SemiAccurate also harbours the same doubts about next generation Ultrabooks they had for the first generation, with more numbers to back up their beliefs.  The analysts still think that the next generation of Ultrabook will do well though ... for some strange reason.

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"The basic problem for Ultrabooks at the moment is one of price, Stice explained. Intel's original vision for the platform was for a price point of around $600, but even with the $300m in support and subsidies that Chipzilla is pushing out to manufacturers, prices are much closer to a grand – and at that price, customers aren't biting."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register
October 2, 2012 | 05:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If ultrabooks are going to be priced around the same as the apple then they should have all had a thunderbolt port, Acer now has an ultrabook with a thunderbolt port, what the hell took intel and the OEM's so long after the apple's exclusive agreement ended to get thunderbolt into windows laptops. With Lucid, GUS2, and other thunderbolt expansion boxes starting to popup like mushrooms, I would much rather have a thunderbolt port than a SSD drive, give me a thin hard drive and to hell with the fast startups. I would be very happy if I could get a windows laptop, any windows laptop, with one or 2 thunderbolt ports! Screw thin and light, just get the thunderbolt ports in the laptop to allow me to add on to my laptop the devices that desktop users have had available from day one!

October 5, 2012 | 02:43 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I second to that. Without thunderbolt it is just another first gen ultrabook. Then I don't understand how intel takes cred from the quicker start-up times. My old XPS is as fast with Win 8 and an SSD. Personally I don't want to wait for Haswell to get a new laptop. Give me a wide chocie of thunderbolt port equipped ultrabooks as promised and I'd love to buy one.

And it doesn't have to cost $600. I just want a Windows laptop that is as good or better as the new MB's.

// Per

October 2, 2012 | 05:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If ultrabooks are going to be priced around the same as the apple then they should have all had a thunderbolt port, Acer now has an ultrabook with a thunderbolt port, what the hell took intel and the OEM's so long after the apple's exclusive agreement ended to get thunderbolt into windows laptops. With Lucid, GUS2, and other thunderbolt expansion boxes starting to popup like mushrooms, I would much rather have a thunderbolt port than a SSD drive, give me a thin hard drive and to hell with the fast startups. I would be very happy if I could get a windows laptop, any windows laptop, with one or 2 thunderbolt ports! Screw thin and light, just get the thunderbolt ports in the laptop to allow me to add on to my laptop the devices that desktop users have had available from day one!

October 2, 2012 | 10:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I would love to see laptop OEM's come up with a laptop class called the not so thin and light! This class of laptop whould have a larger battery, better screen resolution, space for up to 16 gigs of faster laptop memory.
this laptop class would have the option for a quadcore processor, and standard ( 2 usb 3.0 ports, 2 thunderbolt ports, HDMI, and others!) give the user the option of SSD or hard drive. this laptop class should offer the option of a CD/dvd/blueray drive or a 2nd hard drive (in an OEM supplied hard drive caddy) or a USM slim type hot swapable SATA slot for USM slim form factor hard drives. And of course a discrete GPU. The makers of this class of not so thin and light laptop should offer as an accessory, an external thunderbolt PCI based expansion box designed to utilize all of the bandwith that can be supplied through the two thunderbolt ports that come with this class of laptop!

October 3, 2012 | 10:09 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

netbook deja vu

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