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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