After climbing steadily in search queries over the last 12 months, Ultrabooks as a term is just about passing the threshold into true mainstream consumer territory. The launch of Windows 8 and a number of eye-catching convertible Ultrabooks look to be helping in a big way. The latest evidence comes to us in the form of a new Ultrabook ad from Best Buy, the largest consumer electronics retailer in the U.S. The retailer is also offering a $100 discount on an Ultrabook when you turn in a working laptop.
Ultrabooks at Best Buy
Best Buy’s new ad is airing on national TV in the U.S:
The ad highlights the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga which is a convertible Ultrabook with touchscreen and Windows 8.
Along with the ad is a $100 discount offer. If you trade in a working laptop, Best Buy will give you a $100 discount toward an Ultrabook. It isn’t clear what the store determines as “working”, but it might be worth calling your local store to find out, assuming you’ve got a long forgotten laptop in the closet (maybe an old netbook?).
Best Buy has a dedicated section of its site to list Ultrabooks. You can find it easily at http://www.bestbuy.com/ultrabooks.
Ultrabook vs. Netbook Search Queries
We’ve been watching the trending search volume of ‘Ultrabook’ and ‘netbook’ carefully. The two queries are particularly interesting because one of Intel’s goals for the Ultrabook project has been to get manufacturers and consumers away from the netbook and curtail a ‘race to the bottom’ scenario which crippled quality and margins. By all accounts there definitely appears to be a correlation between the two terms. For general searches ‘Netbook’ has the lead but has been falling as ‘ultrabook’ is rising. In fact the two are just about to pass each other. It’s possible that ‘ultrabook’ will surpass the ‘netbook’ term in the next 3 months thanks to Windows 8 and new Ultrabook offerings from every major computer manufacturer:
After a lull in the summer months, the latest data from October shows a big spike in ‘Ultrabook’ search traffic. ‘Netbook’ shows a spike too but not as sharply.
What you might be surprised to find is a completely different picture when we look specifically at Google News searches rather than general Google queries. In this case, the ‘Ultrabook’ term actually passed netbooks around this time last year:
There are two plausible explanations for this which could mean very different things:
- People are more interested in reading news about Ultrabooks than netbooks
- ‘Netbook’ is a ‘mature’ term whereafter people are no longer searching by category but by specific devices
Regional interest is another interesting area to look at. The top region (Taiwan) is marked as 100 and all other regions are scaled relative to its search volume:
The above shows regional search volume for ‘Ultrabook’ in general Google search. Very interesting to note that the U.S. is not even in the top 10 by search volume! Asia and Europe seem much more interested. However, when you sort by Google News queries the U.S. finds itself at #5 with 26% of the search ‘Ultrabook’ search volume as Taiwan.
The latest search trend data shows that people are perhaps more interested than ever before in Ultrabooks. Whether Intel and partners can manage to convert his interest into actual sales (especially in this economy) is another matter, and quite important to the project as we enter into the holiday season.