The high BOM still prevents makers from selling Ultrabooks under $1000 (750 EUR)
Ultrabooks are expected to drop in price between 5 and 10 percent in the first quarter of 2012 thanks to the introduction of a series of new models from major notebooks makers and more importantly to a $100 US (75 EUR) marketing subsidy from Intel.The news regarding this price drop comes from the DigiTimes publication, that cites a series of Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
Ever since the announcement of the Ultrabook concept, Intel wanted to keep the price of these ultra-thin laptops under the $1,000 mark, but the high costs associated with SSDs and ULV processors have made this task a lot more difficult that the chip maker initially believed.
In a 13-inch SSD-equipped Ultrabook model, the BOM (bill-of-materials) is estimated at $690 (518 EUR).
Add to these the $100 (75 EUR) OEM costs and the $150 (112.6 EUR) bill for marketing & distribution and the grand total comes to $940 (705 EUR), DigiTimes’ sources indicated, which doesn’t leave much room for notebooks manufacturers to make any profit from these devices.
Right now, the cheapest Ultrabook on the market is the Toshiba Portege Z835 which retails for $799.99 (594 EUR), but this is a Best Buy exclusive deal as the regular selling price of the ultra-thin being is actually set at $929 (689 EUR).
Those of us that can’t buy this model from Best Buy have to go instead for the HP Folio 13 or the Acer Aspire S3, both models being sold for $899.99 (roughly 699.9 EUR).
Of these two models, the Folio is actually the better buy as it comes with a 128GB mSATA SSD that is faster than the solid state and HDD combo used for the Acer Ultrabook, while it also carries a backlit keyboard.