Notebook Makers Complain Intel's Ultrabooks Can't Outprice the MacBook Air

By on August 3rd, 2011 13:34 GMT

Even though Intel is promoting its Ultrabook project as one of the greatest innovations brought to the mobile computing space, notebook makers are becoming increasingly skeptical this concept as many believe it will fail if the machines built won't be less expensive than the MacBook Air.

In the last months, Intel has been hard at work to promote Ultrabooks among notebook makers and has been hosting conferences with supply chain makers since the second quarter of this year.

The Santa Clara chip giant has also provided them with suggestions and assistance in designing related components and various methods for reducing costs.

However, in spite of all these efforts, notebook makers still aren't able to sell Ultrabooks for under $1000, as Intel's guidelines require.

In fact, both Acer and Asus recently announced that their upcoming Ultrabooks will retail for more than $1000 due to the high components and production costs associated with building such products.

Intel's Ultrabook guidelines require manufacturers to use a unibody design for the chassis, as well as built-in high-density li-polymer batteries, to significantly reduce weight and size, while some of the components have to be soldered directly on the system mainboard.

What this means is that notebook makers will have to completely change their existing production process, which is based on a modular approach, resulting in added training and retooling costs.

Add to that the high prices of solid state drives and ULV processors (Intel's hardware alone accounts for a third of the $1000 price) and it becomes pretty clear that Ultrabooks will find it hard to compete with the $999 to $1,599 priced MacBook Air.

As far as notebook makers are concerned, the only solution to deliver sub $1000 Ultrabooks could be for Intel to reduce the price of its components (one could actually interpret all these complaints as a way to force Intel to do just that).

The first completed Ultrabook designs are expected to be showcased by Intel at the upcoming Fall Intel Developer Forum, which will take place in San Francisco this September. (via DigiTimes

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