Those slim, svelte, sexy ultrabooks that Intel has been flogging may be having a hard time finding buyers due to their relatively high prices. So say sources speaking with the Taiwanese market-watchers at DigiTimes, which reported on Monday that both Acer and Asustek, which had expected to sell between 200,000 and 300,000 of the …
Some rather nasty corners cut on the Acer S3 though
It starts off with relatively trivial things, like the 1.6GHz ULV i5 rather than 1.7GHz and no 802.11a. It goes rapidly down hill from there though, like a 36Wh battery rather than 50Wh, a hybrid SSD/HDD with only 20GB of SSD capacity vs 128GB of SSD, a 1366x768 vs 1440 x 900 screen with 1/3rd of the graphics memory and no high speed or expansion ports (2x USB2 is your lot). You get what you pay for.
Gee... this is just a _little bit_ early to judge isn't it?
Pro tip: Sales will always be poor if the product is not available for sale.
I've been looking around for the Zenbook, and havn't seen it (or the Acer one) for sale anywhere yet. The only one i've seen locally is the Samsung Series 9...
Seeing as they're barely available, and the holiday shopping season hasn't started yet, it's a bit premature to be judging sales.
Not to mention the fact that traditional desktop and notebook availability will be taking a hit during the shopping season, due to the HDD shortages, likely shrinking the price gap between those and the flash-based ultrabooks.
Don't tell Apple
Their MacBook Airs are flying (floating?) off the shelfs! My wife loves mine soo much it is now officially "hers" and I'm back to the relatively heavyweight MacBook Pro.
Endless Budgets, not
I will never understand the politics behind this kind of thinking.
Techies love this stuff but when you start to add up the cost of a home PC, a Laptop, a Tablet and a Smartphone then after a little while you start to realise that it all costs a lot of hard earned cash and that there is a limit behind the justification of yet another gadget.
Maybe if we all earned top dollar as the Intel execs do then we might be able to stretch out for a nice skinny laptop.
And lets be honest if we all threw away our tech gear I dont think that any of us would die.
Mines the one with ( I just bought a PS3 in readiness for the coming winter nights) on the joypad.
I agree, as much as I'd love the latest shiney I keep thinking that I have more important stuff to pay for.
When eventually I feel I need to upgrade my laptop I might well look at an Ultrabook and maybe pay a bit extra, but for now my aging 3 year old Acer Aspire 2920 with it's 2GHz Core 2 Duo and 4GB Ram is doing everything I want it do (although I could do with a new battery on it). I expect I'll probably easily get another year or two out of it before it seems to be slow, maybe even another 3 years if I'm lucky (I run Linux on it so it still seems realitively quick).
My wife on the other hand has a 4 going on 5 year old ThinkPad R50e, I've upgraded the CPU from an old Celeron 1.4 to a Pentium M 1.7GHz, bunged in a bigger hard drive and 1GB Ram and she's only just started to moan it's slow. She's been looking around at laptops but she's in the process of setting up her own business, I told her to hang fire if she can and try and put some funds aside and then get a reasonable laptop when she can afford it and stick it through as a business expense.
When both laptops are finally replaced they'll probably get passed on to the kids to use for web browsing and whatnot.
At least one saving grace is that maybe by the time we replace our laptops with new ones the Ultrabooks might have come down in price a bit and be better spec (or maybe AMD might have urged manufacturers to come up with an AMD based alternative at a lower price).
Considering that it's widely known that Apple are the predominant supplier of PCs and laptop over $1k in price, it's a bit odd to find the bargain basement players like Acer thinking that they are suddenly going to run away in this particular market segment.
Optimistic is another word.
@ Justin Clements
"..it's a bit odd to find the bargain basement players like Acer thinking that they are suddenly going to run away in this particular market segment."
... especially considering the cheap chinese crap they usually deliver.
Optimistic is a bit far fetched if you ask me. I'd have the word 'stupid' in my mind.
The companies are reaping what they sow.
Apple puts out a product that does well, and then others bring out similar products. But those products are of debatably inferior quality AND more expensive. And then said companies are shocked... SHOCKED that they arn't selling any. It happened with the tablets, and now it's happening with the ultrabooks.
PC companies have spent so much time and effort drilling into people people that Apple is the 'overly expensive luxury brand'. The HP touchpad proved very nicely that people have taken this to heart. They are simply not going to buy a Motorola/Samsung/Acer/Intel/whatever product if it costs more than Apple's equivalent 'luxury' product. In fact, people won't buy them unless they are either substantially better than the Apple equivalent, or significantly cheaper.
It's laughable that these companies don't even realize that they've painted themselves into a corner.
@ Ilsa Loving
Perhaps it's about time some western 'entrepeur' start building his own quality products (since higher asking prices don't seem to matter if the quality is right). Because we ALL know the best products were made in the US or Europe. Let the chinese build, buy and use their own crap and let us do the stuff that's gonne get sold in our markets. That's at least fair to our own regional factory workforce.
Go right ahead.
MacBook Air is an Intel .... just saying
Ya right, just like how Apple does things...
All non-Apple products should have at least a 30% discount.
How can crap brands from China cost more than Apple and expect to compete?
Bloody dreamers, the lot of them.
@ Wang N Staines
Do you know where Apple products are made?
Turn over the lovely white box or that lovely aluminum MacBook Air and see.... "Made in China" or on rare occasions "Assembled in China".
Funny thing is, I did the same with the familiar blue box of my Nokia C7...hmmm... "Made in Hungary". This is what I prefer. A European company (Finland) producing products in another European country (Hungary) for the European market (amongst others).
Apple should produce in the US or at least the sticker should read: "Assembled in the USA" IMHO.
Indeed, waiting for Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge processor next year
The two other roadblocks have been lifted: matte and high-def (1400x900 pixel) displays available in, for example, the Samsung Series 7.
Obviously, for the price I would rather have the future-proof Ivy Bridge - current Intel processors are still too weak in terms of graphics (and not even DirectX 11 compatible!).
ULTRA BOOKS MY AR*E....
My wife wanted a laptop to send emails,check on the children's school dinner menu, write the odd article etc. Ultra books my arse, I bought her an Asus eeeeeeeeeee for £165, does all these things and more.
Another overpriced gadget looking for a mug to take to the cleaners.
They don't tell the basics
As a person who has very basic needs I have to hunt the forums and ignore flamewars to see the answer of 2 questions. Do they play 720p h264 and do they run a recent game 30 fps without any tweaking. These should be happening while a real antivirus running.
Netbooks made there questions very valid even for newbies because of Intel crap graphics included. At least AMD guys should come back to earth from overclocking scene and explain why their dx10 acceleration is different etc.
You need to do homework before you jump to conclusions.
My laptop is 4 years old and I need a new one, and the ASUS UX31E is the one I wanted, not only because I like it, but because it's the only Ultrabook that's purportedly shipping.
I live in the Silicon Valley and I can't buy one to save my soul. Fry's - nada. Best Buy - nice try. Central Computers - non-gotz! The sense I get is that none of them except for one BB store have ever received any. This is why ASUS will never be Apple. Ever! And it's why Intel needs to start firing these idiots.
So the idea that these laptops are not selling - well duh! But it's probably not from lack of demand. Please do your homework before posting nonsense.
Intel? I'll pass.
Last year, we were promised on a good thing called the Smartbook, which was supposed to be a netbook, only running Linux on ARM. Then came that stupid iSlab that killed the market for the Smartbook and we're once again stuck with shit Intel stuff. I ended up buying a craptel netbook.
Now they're selling something called an 'Ultrabook' which might look nice .. except it still has Intel turds inside and coming at fruity prices ... no thanks. I'm sticking to the netbook and my full-blown laptop for now. As much as I'd like to see Apple take a beating, I'd wish it were an actual good product and not yet another WINTEL garbage computer. Meh.
With all due respect the Smartbook market was killed in utero by MS and Intel who threatened any "partners" who had them on their roadmap with the usual things like "loss of marketing assistance" and "volume discounts" etc.
At the same time netbooks became expensive and bloated shadows of the original eee pc in order to accommodate the now mandatory bundled Windows while intel was also forcing artificial limitations on manufacturers (Max 2Gb RAM, 10" Screen) so that Netbook sales didn't cannibalise the laptop market where they could charge ordersof magnitudes more for CPU's that most people did not need but had to buy just to get something bigger than a 10" screen.
It was the arrogance of MS and intel who simply assumed that people who were dissatisfied with the netbooks on offer would be forced to purchase more expensive laptops.
This failed spectacularly because apple launched the ipad and suddenly people had a non wintel option which they have flocked to in droves.
Fail icon for Wintel
"It was the arrogance of MS and intel who simply assumed that people who were dissatisfied with the netbooks on offer would be forced to purchase more expensive laptops."
It's so funny that people DO know that these 2 companies are the "bad guys".
Yet at many occasions they can't stop hyping up these corporations. Just look at the airplay Windows Phone 7 receives these days or the airplay Intel receives now that Android 4 will get "Intel optimizations"
I guess Google's shareholders will get a nice fat bonus from Intel next year just as Nokia's shareholders will got one from Steve Balmer too. It's all about greed. And won't just stop overnight.
These Ultraboxes, do they need any software, or what?
Do they come with any software?
Is the software relevant to their potential customers, or the readers of the article and the comments?
Price without reason
None of these ultrabooks have discrete graphics, the current Intel graphics are worthless, ergo high-end buyers will avoid them. Then you only have lower-end buyers who will be scared off by the price. I have no idea who they thought would buy these, they've priced themselves out of the market.
The Macbook Air is a niece product, not a category of notebook. Not everyone can be Apple because if they were, no one would be.
Price without reason
Price without reason is the perfect description of the Apple user demographic. With a wider array of choices, PC buyers will opt for one of the other many options available to them. The option may be cheaper or it may be more capable.
Macbooks sell to people that brag about their own ignorance.
The PC market probably isn't quite so easy. Wankers like me will be asking if it actually is worth the money rather than just mindlessly queuing up for it.
Think you need lessons in logic, some experience with what you criticise and a basic grasp of reason and reality.
Macbooks sell to people who appreciate proper design in their homes and offices, people who want a properly supported, consistent, powerful interface and to engineers who appreciate and use the full access to a complete UNIX and its tools.
PCs go to those who are "used" to them and those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing, like yourself.
What colour is the sky on your planet, anonytard?
Next year's bargains
If the price is too high, ultrabooks will not sell. However, it is a fantasy that Apple gear is cheaper than these ultrabooks. The 64 GB entry-level sub-1000 euro MBA is for marketing, the usable Airs start at 200 euros higher. There is room for non-Apple ultrabooks to live, if the product is appealing.
As for the consumer, having some ultrabook models not sell very well is great. You can find last-year Asus and Acer notebooks on heavily-discounted sales quite frequently, unlike Apple stuff. Especially if the sales of that model were less than expected. At, say, 500 euros next fall, the current crop of ultrabooks would be a great bargain - same situation as with HP Touchpad.
As some kind of minor, anecdotal, counterpoint to the article, the 850 euro S3 Ultrabooks seem to be selling at a decent clip at one Finnish retailer (3-4 a day for a week or two) - not Apple-like numbers, but it doesn't seem like they are going to get stuck with a lot of unsold inventory. For that particular retailer (verkkokauppa.com), they seem to be selling about as well or better than any particular MBA model at this point in the S3 Ultrabook's lifetime.
Where are they
I've had a look for the two Asus models in the UK, the 11" one is out of stock everywhere and the 13" one is on sale only at DSG for £1149 in an i7/128GB guise which is too much money.
I have an OK laptop at the moment, it's still going OK and it's not too slow so I'm going to wait until one of the manufactures comes out with something that ticks all the boxes. The Asus is almost there but I've heard reports of poor wireless performance, dodgy touchpad drivers and crummy screen. If I'm paying top prices for a laptop it needs to be perfect.
Why on Earth would you want one of these
I have a perfectly good 13" HP laptop with a reasonable processor, sufficient RAM and decent hard disk which was all in about £450 18 months ago. That is a lot less than the money asked for these things for not an awful lot of real-world benefit (it is already small and light enough to carry around and I don't do serious gaming on it - I have serious games kit fro that).
Surely the rational option is to buy a reasonable laptop for real computer work and an iPad* for when you want ultra portability? It would cost you about the same overall.
*Of course you could buy any of the other tablet offerings if you prefer. All the other kids will laugh at you if it isn't an iPad though, but it is your choice.
Usual Intel/Otellini... arrogant, greedy, clueless
My fav was when these clowns at Intel claimed 'ahh the price of our chips are negligible, wouldn't make any difference if would would start give it away for free' to which Acer (?) came forward and stated that Intel's stuff in their Ultrabooks make up about 30% of ALL costs...
...usual Intel: greedy as f*ck and keeps talking clueless BS hoping it will stick.
Newsflash Paul: it won't.
Lower your prices and I might reconsider your useless, sh!tty GMA-based graphics when it comes to replacing my wife's laptop or I will just wait for more Llano-based unit to hit the market.