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Intel Portables Businesses Hardware Technology

Why Ultrabooks Are Falling Well Short of Intel's Targets 513

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-leveraging-enough-synergies dept.
nk497 writes "When Paul Otellini announced Ultrabooks last year, he predicted they would grab 40% of the laptop market by this year. One analyst firm has said Ultrabooks will only make up 5% of the market this year, slashing its own sales predictions from 22m this year to 10.3m. However, IHS iSuppli said that Ultrabooks have a chance at success if manufacturers get prices down between $600 to $700 — a discount of as much as $400 on the average selling price of the devices — and they could still grab a third of the laptop market by 2016."
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Why Ultrabooks Are Falling Well Short of Intel's Targets

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  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:04PM (#41532629) Homepage

    Funny that Apple sell so many retina MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs when they're the most expensive machines you can buy in those form factors

    Nope. Not even close.

    When I was shopping for an ultrabook, I found the MacBook Air was quite competitively priced. I wasn't terribly impressed with the competition either -- the Samsung Series 7, for example, is not only more expensive for the same specs, but it's made of plastic!

  • by Guppy (12314) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:14PM (#41532709)

    Hey Charlie [slashdot.org], if you're on Slashdot, would you like to comment on your blistering excorication [semiaccurate.com] of Ultrabooks?

  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:21PM (#41532761) Homepage Journal

    There's a lot of netbook haters out there, and I understand why. Truth is they weren't the right thing for everyone.

    I found two great niches for them - children and physically active people on the go.

    First of all - children. The first netbook I every bought was one of the 7" eeePC's on that was on Woot.com with a 4GB card SSD. The SSD was so small the included OS couldn't even run its own updates out of the box. I put an ultra small version of Linux and SNES on it (came with a heftier Linux), stuck in a 32 GB SD card - instant portable movie and game machine for my daughter. A couple of years later I upgraded her to a 10" Acer similar to mine and my niece and nephew now have the 7" one. You can fit a lot of movies on a 32 GB SD card if you use the PSP or iPod preset in Handbrake.

    Second niche - myself. I bike places, as often as I can. I have a small backpack [target.com] that's big enough to carry my bike tools, a netbook, and some accessories/other crap I need for my commute to work or just about anywhere else. I BMX a lot and I don't like to carry a bunch of extra garbage I don't need. For coffee shop Internet use - including work responsibilities when I'm consulting - every thing I have to do on the road can be done on my 10" Acer Aspire. I've had two chain related failures on my BMXes while this thing was in my backpack, I wound up tumbling down the road both time my little Aspire took the beating better than I did. Sure a tablet fills this niche for most people, but I like a keyboard and mouse. That being said if Google does come out with a Nexus 10 I'll probably get that and use my old mini Apple bluetooth keyboard on it.

    I drool over Ultrabooks - I really want one. Fact is they cost too damned much and they won't fit my physically active lifestyle - I would have to switch to a bigger backpack for more than about a 12" screen, maybe a bit bigger but I don't want to push it too much. Intel's greed - not the kind that motivated them to release Ultrabooks but the kind that made them strong arm manufactures into killing netbooks to do it - is a large part of why they aren't taking off well enough.

    If they stopped their excessive manipulation and gave control back to the manufacturers they may see a surge in Ultrabook sales.

  • by Rudeboy777 (214749) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @08:35PM (#41532865)

    You're making the same mistake hardware geeks have been making for many years now. The specs on paper may be better but how is the unit's build quality and usability of the OS? The touchpad on the Zenbook is much worse.

    It's harder to quantify those things, but this is where Apple got it right and everyone who would ever buy something from newegg.com has it wrong.

  • by smash (1351) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:12PM (#41533149) Homepage Journal

    This. The macbook air has a decent trackpad, keyboard and screen. You can get a decent keyboard and something close screen wise on a PC ultrabook but every trackpad I've used so far sucks.

    It also looks pretty.

    The PC Ultrabook is the same price. For me, its a no brainer. Even if I'm looking for a machine to run Windows on, I'd still buy a Macbook air rather than an Ultrabook PC.

  • by zaphod777 (1755922) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @09:28PM (#41533313)
    I was in the market for an Ultra Light laptop since I was tired of lugging mine around for 3 hours everyday. I have never been a huge Apple fan so I looked at the Asus ZenBook but it maxes out at 4GB of RAM, I looked at the new Lenovo carbon fiber ultra book but it was hundreds of dollars more expensive. I checked out a few other UltrBooks but they all just looked and felt cheap. When the new MacBook Air's came out I weighed the pro's and con's, sure the RAM is not replaceable but neither is the RAM on the ZenBook and the MBA can take 8GB. The HDD will eventually be upgradeable whenever a third party makes one and the battery is much more replaceable than the Retina MBP. The USB 3.0 supports SCSI over USB protocol and there are a number of other hardware advantages. Although I wanted to punch a hole in the wall when I had to buy a Thunderbolt cable for $50 0_o, there is no reason they should be that expensive but that is Apple pricing for you. Coming from Linux it took me a while to get used to OSX and its limitations but overall I am pretty happy with my purchase and would make it again. You can't find an UltraBook for that price with the same specs and build quality.
  • by anethema (99553) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @10:30PM (#41533753) Homepage

    I'm in the same boat somewhat. I keep trying to switch, and KEEP getting burned.

    Decided I want a big slunker gaming computer. Bought the Asus G73 when it came out. Was working fairly well but within about 8 months it was having some issues, trackpad, screen etc. No problem, I'm used to the Apple support, Asus has a good rep, lets call.

    What a disappointment. My only option was to send the laptop in so they could diagnose and repair it at their leisure. Reports online say it often takes a month. This is my primary and sole computer. I tried explaining that but nothing they could do. I offered to buy a nicer warranty, or buy the parts myself and replace them and agree my warranty would henceforth be void. Nope! Send it in.

    I sold it for a steep discount to a buddy and bought a mac.

    Know what Apple does in this situation? "No problem sir, your new computer is in the mail. Simply take a time machine backup, wipe it, place old computer in the box the new one came in, rip the shipping label off, drop it off for free shipping back to us, and restore the backup. Have a nice day."

    It seems you cannot even BUY that kind of warranty from most PC makers. Some even seem to try to find excuses not to fix your device. Apple has even replaced my phone after I broke the screen. They said they normally don't but just this once they would.

    They may have a terrible corporate attitude but they are hard to get away from since most other aspects of owning their products is so positive.

  • by knorthern knight (513660) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @11:03PM (#41534011)

    > I'm just waiting for netbooks to die. I've used netbooks on and off for 20 years.
    > They just wern't called that until recently, but last year's laptop was a netbook.

    There is a legitimate market for netbooks. Not everybody needs one as a desktop replacement or as a gaming machine; then again, not everybody needs a Mercedes. I went on a trip recently, and brought along a 3-year-old 11" netbook http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347366,00.asp [pcmag.com] I used it for two things...
    1) cursory check of my email every day
    2) offloading pics from my camera's card onto disc (250 gig drive), and a backup copy onto a 16 gig USB key.

    A lightweight $300 netbook is perfectly sufficient for my needs in this situation. It's maxed out at 2 gigs ram, and is 32-bit-only. The Vista Home that came with it absolutely crawled. I run optimized Gentoo linux with ICEWM (no KDE or GNOME), and it's half-decent. A reverse-engineered opensource Poulsbo video driver for linux has been available in the main kernel since January, 2012, so I can get the full 1366x768 resolution. It'll keep up with Youtube 720p videos in "large-player" mode, but stutters in fullscreen. As for 1080... fuggedaboutit.

    For regular computing, I have a desktop machine with a 24 inch monitor.

  • What in pete's name (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @11:49PM (#41534237)
    did you do to Virtual Box to make it unstable. I do all the Linux development for my Firefox Plugin [glimmersoft.com] in a Virtualbox VM (which means lots and lots of flash and HTML5 video) and I've never once crashed it.

    Now, getting OSX into a VirtualBox takes an act of God, but then again you're not suppose to do that in the first place :P So not a fair comparison.

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