Archive for March, 2012
Ultrabook prices are falling fast. The Novatech nFinity 2367 Ultrabook is on offer in the UK for £358 before tax, with SSD storage.
18mm thin with SSD – You’ve got two of the most important Ultrabook specifications covered. There’s a 14” screen too. The price is a UK pre-tax offer equating to around £430 after sales tax which smacks of great mainstream value. Where’s the catch?
Calling all Ultrabook designers, manufacturers, OEMs. Putting discreet graphics in Ultrabooks is not going to help the Ultrabook and it may come back to bite you. Mainstream buyers don’t understand what it means, gamers aren’t interested, video editors use Apple rigs and that just leaves the niche market of mobile geeks that do a bit of gaming on the side, a big bunch of impressionable bloggers and anyone you can tease with marketing, advertising and a bunch of stickers. Well, maybe that’s what it’s all about; the ability to market a product. I still think it will hurt the Ultrabook though.
Over the last 6 years of blogging I’ve been fortunate enough to have a well-focused and knowledgeable community associated with my sites. The comments on UMPCPortal articles are priceless nuggets of information and insight, Ultrabooknews has been the same. I want to thank you all for reading and contributing. I also want to offer you an easy way to feed back to me, to Intel and to the manufacturers. This post is intended as a long-life post open to all your comments. Key comments will be highlighted in the post as I regularly update it. I’ll be tracking comments as closely as I can, both here and on social networks, and I’ll be taking this with me to Intel, to manufacturers to ISVs and OSVs as a bell-weather of thoughts from our community.
Take the opportunity to comment below on anything Ultrabook related. Here are a few teasers to get you going?
Unlikely to be a true Ultrabook but definitely part of a developing trend towards the convertible Ultrabook design is this Teso K116 ‘ultrabook’ spotted on Alibaba, the global trade portal, today by Netbooknews.
The detachable screen is designed in a similar way to the relatively successful Asus Transformer.
‘Shocking thinness and price” says the advertising for the new Lesance NB S3431 Ultrabook. While 19mm might not be a shock to anyone that reads Ultrabooknews, the price of $725 (59980 Yen) is pretty impressive.
Yes, this is a Japan-only model (although expect it to reach other countries under other brands – this looks like one of the first 2nd-tier OEM Ultrabooks to hit the market) and the specs are so-so when compared to other Ultrabooks but for the mainstream market this price is a good indicator. Continued…
When the Ultrabook launched in June 2011, Samsung were ahead of the curve because the Series 9 had already launched into the thin and light space. It was expensive but brought the best of Samsung’s engineering to the table in exactly the way the Ultrabook was to do just months later. Over time the price has come down so it was difficult to imagine how Samsung might fit a product into the Ultrabook market but at CES the strategy was revealed as the Series 9 received a complete refresh to remain as the premium thin and light product. The price was obviously pushed back up which left space for what is effectively a tier-2 thin-and-light in the Series 5 Ultrabook.
There are two models in the range and the pricing is competitive; especially in Europe where the 13” Series 5 is offering a great package for a price that is currently only beaten by the Acer S3. The 14” Series 5 offers a DVD writer and a good set of specs but it’s the base model Series 5 13” were testing here. Bought (for a family member, not sent by a PR company) in Germany, this is an extended review of the NP530U3B.
To all intents and purposes the Series 5 is a simple, unfussy and polite Ultrabook but there’s a lot going on under the hood. It’s a swan! Express Cache is doing it’s stuff to improve boot, hibernation and application startup times and Turbo is giving a leg-up where needed; but only a little one. It seems the Samsung Series 5 has been de-tuned in order to keep it quiet.
If Apple launches a 15” MacBook Air this spring it will send a strong message to everyone that the time for traditional laptop designs is coming to an end. A report at Apple Insider says it’s likely to happen. Personally, I’m not surprised at all. We’ve already seen Samsung and Acer launch 15” ultra-thins and if the Ultrabook methodology is as cheap as I think it is, traditional style laptops for gamers could get more niche, and more expensive. The same will be true of traditional MacBook Pro.
A launch of the new MacBook Air models hinges on Intel’s Ivy Bridge platform availability so the reported ‘April’ launch could be well towards the end of April with devices being available in May although with Ultrabooks also lining up to use the platform, it will be interesting to see who get’s the first batch.
For those not familiar with Euro pricing, €599 for the Acer M3 (M3-581T-32364G34M) is a breakthrough for the Ultrabook segment. Average price for an Ultrabook in the European region is near €1000 with the lowest-priced offers down at around €700. To see a launch price of €599 is going to raise eyebrows across the industry because not only is the Acer M3 a cheap Ultrabook, it’s got some premium features too. But there’s a price to pay. This 15.6” chubber weighs 2.3KG!
Daring, Powerful, Persuasive, Excited, Determined and Persistent. All these qualities can pay dividends. In some situations, they can earn you an Ultrabook!