Intel aims to keep Ultrabook retail price under $1,000

Intel verified reports that they will be striving to keep retail prices for the future Ultrabook notebooks below $1,000. The chip giant that previously claimed the line of devices would have 40% of the laptop market by the end of next year, is now trying to ensure pricing is not enough to dissuade buyers. The Ultrabook series is in direct competition with Apple's MacBook line, boasting the same super-slim design and potentially the same aluminum unibody, depending on the different vendors.

As ZDNet reports, the base-spec MacBook Air retails for $999, and the Ultrabook series must remain comparable, or slightly cheaper, to tempt buyers. Intel also released a bill of materials, showing that the Ultrabooks would not cost more than $1,000 pre-assembly. According to the report, parts for a 21mm notebook could vary between $475 and $650, while parts for an 18mm notebook could vary from $493 to $710.

Despite Intel's original plans of using a unibody construction for the Ultrabook series, the idea might not prove feasible. Vendors report a shortage of these unibody chassis. The two main companies that produce them are also closely tied to Apple; it would hardly be surprising if Apple bought the majority of the stock for the MacBook line. As a result, the vendors are considering using a fiberglass chassis for their models.

ASUS and HP have both agreed to produce devices in the Ultrabook line, even though Acer's founder has described the current trend of ultra-thin notebooks as nothing more than a "fad". Depending on whether or not the line stays below the $1,000 price-point, it could be made or broken. If it manages to remain under the price-point, then the Ultrabook offerings could draw some customers. At present Apple seems to be running the 'only show in town', but this could soon change.

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These are just ultraportable notebooks. We've had them forever. The low price is the only new thing. I wonder how Intel is convincing all the manufactures to drop the price on ultraportables as they're usually very expensive.

They are much below the $1000 price-point! And I think they can be more popular than netbook was at it's peak.

It will be nice if this turns out well. There are a more than enough laptops on the market today but I find them all to be very cheaply made (ie. plastic).

I believe that ultrabooks are going to capture a large portion of the notebook market (unlike tablets which are never going to be able to replace a laptop). For the most part, they can do most tasks save more intensive things like gaming and photo/video editing.

However, I still like my laptops to play some games and do photo editing so I'm not willing to sacrifice power for portability.

SojIrOu said,
I believe that ultrabooks are going to capture a large portion of the notebook market (unlike tablets which are never going to be able to replace a laptop). For the most part, they can do most tasks save more intensive things like gaming and photo/video editing.

However, I still like my laptops to play some games and do photo editing so I'm not willing to sacrifice power for portability.

CAll me AMD fan, but I think AMD with its Fusion processors are alerady doing very good in that area

AMD is really kicking Intel's butt in integrated graphics performance with the Fusion. My main gripe about the MacBook Air line is the Intel HD 3000 graphics which suffer because of poor drivers and lower performance compared to entry level chips from nVidia and AMD.

SojIrOu said,
I believe that ultrabooks are going to capture a large portion of the notebook market (unlike tablets which are never going to be able to replace a laptop). For the most part, they can do most tasks save more intensive things like gaming and photo/video editing.

However, I still like my laptops to play some games and do photo editing so I'm not willing to sacrifice power for portability.

Why a "Real" tablet PC could not replace a laptop? I switched to Tablet format in 2002 and never looked back. I will replace my Toshiba M400 in September with a Lenovo because of the incoming W8 with Touch capabilities but my aging tablet runs Office 2010, is part of a domain etc.

I cannot speak about games because the only ones I play are Flight Sims and I do using my desktop.

What I meant by tablet was an iPad or Android with limited connectivity and less power and features than a laptop.

Your tablet is more akin to a laptop with a touch screen which may well be the future seeing as to how OS X Lion is integrating iOS features and Windows 8 with its Metro UI.

Edited by SojIrOu, Aug 6 2011, 4:57pm :

SojIrOu said,
What I meant by tablet was an iPad or Android with limited connectivity and less power and features than a laptop.

Your tablet is more akin to a laptop with a touch screen which may well be the future seeing as to how OS X Lion is integrating iOS features and Windows 8 with its Metro UI.

It's funny how Apple has redefined what a "Tablet" is. For almost 10 years Microsoft made Tablet PC software. They never caught on mostly because they were too expensive there was no marketing for them. They were aimed at businesses mostly.

If Apple can do it, so can other brands. By the way that this idea is going, it is not going to happen. Really they should just stop now, go back to the drawing board, and think of something new to outdo Apple. It is too late to catchup because by the time they get something out there comparible to the MBA, Apple will have something totally different.