Tuesday, February 7th 2012

Current-Generation Ultrabooks In For Price-Cuts

Although the current generation of "Ultrabooks" don't really conform to a rigid specification apart from being really slim, unlike the next-generation Ivy Bridge-based ones which will have to conform to a specification laid down by Intel, the name "Ultrabooks" (short for ultra-portable/slim notebooks) has stuck. With Intel's newest processing platform just a couple of months away, notebooks manufacturers are reportedly lowering prices of current-generation Ultrabooks.

The move to lower prices of Ultrabooks is simply to clear inventories and pave the way for the next-generation. The prices will be cut significantly. Acer's Ultrabook S3 already saw its price drop to US $799 from $999; while HP's Ultrabooks will see prices cut by as much as 25 percent. Price of Lenovo's Ultrabook will go down by up to 21 percent. In short, every $999-ish Ultrabook will see its price go down to $749-799.

Source: DigiTimes
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32 Comments on Current-Generation Ultrabooks In For Price-Cuts

#1
reverze
and even then they are just a tad too expensive for what they are worth. how do they expect to compete with apple when they handle the same overpriced pricetags?
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#2
n-ster
750$ including SSD is reasonable IMO
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#3
xenocide
by: n-ster
750$ including SSD is reasonable IMO
Agreed. Especially considering the alternatives are usually Apple-based products that cost almost twice the new price and feature basically the same hardware...
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#4
n-ster
And those ultrabooks are so practical and are more than powerful enough for most people. People don't have to look around for laptops anymore, they can just get an ultrabook and know they will be satisfied
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#5
NC37
by: n-ster
And those ultrabooks are so practical and are more than powerful enough for most people. People don't have to look around for laptops anymore, they can just get an ultrabook and know they will be satisfied
So by your definition, there is no laptop besides ultrabooks and ultrabooks are the do all, final say in mobile computing.

I'd like to see an ultrabook really live up to the name, Ultra, but I have yet to see one that didn't seem like nothing more than a $300 laptop with a better CPU crammed into a tighter box. Sure you got models with SSDs and such but literally these are just cheap netbooks with better specs. It is the same thing Apple has done for years with the MBA. A way to make an expensive netbook. They've known for a long time the profit isn't in budget machines. But, up the specs a little, make the case thin, and boom...create a new market from an existing one at a price they can set.
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#6
n-ster
by: NC37
So by your definition, there is no laptop besides ultrabooks and ultrabooks are the do all, final say in mobile computing.

I'd like to see an ultrabook really live up to the name, Ultra, but I have yet to see one that didn't seem like nothing more than a $300 laptop with a better CPU crammed into a tighter box. Sure you got models with SSDs and such but literally these are just cheap netbooks with better specs. It is the same thing Apple has done for years with the MBA. A way to make an expensive netbook. They've known for a long time the profit isn't in budget machines. But, up the specs a little, make the case thin, and boom...create a new market from an existing one at a price they can set.
You are way off my friend.

1st, I said they are good enough for most people, ie: the average user

2nd, the way you are phrasing that is as if I were to say, "I don't see a gaming PC much different than a 300$ PC but with a better CPU and a GPU" . Not only is a false and a generalization, but it purposely makes it look like there isn't much of a difference.

You are comparing to NETBOOKS ?!?! Seriously? comparing an i3/i5 to an atom is just laughable. It's like me comparing an i7 3930K to an AMD sempron. NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL. Why don't you first compare it to a normal laptop with the same specs...

What I am saying is that the average user doesn't have to worry too much and knows that an ultrabook has a nice balance between battery life, power and portability. an i3/i5 with an SSD is nothing to laugh at, especially if incased in 0.5~0.7" of thickness and under 3 lbs while having good battery life, often 6~8 hours. I agree that RIGHT NOW they are still lacking, but with further price drops they will be just fine. For university students and business men, the portability is worth a lot so if the S3 had the 6 cell battery, it would totally be worth it at 799$ Acer Aspire S3-951-6646 Ultrabook Intel Core i5 24...

What I would like to see in future generations is 6-cell batteries, still keep it at ~0.6" thickness like they do now, keep it 2.5~2.75 lbs, and have an SSD, 128GB is perfect. One with current generation processor and gpu I'd is worth the 750~800$ and with ivy bridge CPU and GPU, if what they show is true, should be worth the 949~999$.
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#7
MikeMurphy
^ I actually agree with n-ster. One of those few times ;)

Ultrabook is quite clever on Intel's part.
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#8
R_1
Well , the idea come from Apple. Sadly for Intel, Fruit Co produced MacBook Air some 2 years earlier. Ain't that a bitch? But then they did iPad 1 & 2 , which product rendered MacBook Air useless. Apparently Intel did't got the last part of the news right.
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#9
Completely Bonkers
Ultrabooks should be well beyond 1366 x 768. 1366 x 768 is a netbook resolution for Atom. I've had that on my 10" VPCW11S1E for the last 2 years now.

An ultrabook back in, say, 2000, like my Sony Z600NE, had resolutions like 1024x768 on configurations like Pentium 3 650Mhz and 128MB RAM. How things have improved since then... except for the screen resolution!

We really need to see 1680x1050 as a minimum on any screen over 11". You really don't get much "y" on a 768 screen. People need to get with "120dpi" and "large icons" for better screen readability. We all love "retina displays" on iphones, ipads, Galaxy Tabs, and GPS navigators, but the PC industry is lagging in delivering high pixel density to users.
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#10
n-ster
by: Completely Bonkers
Ultrabooks should be well beyond 1366 x 768. 1366 x 768 is a netbook resolution for Atom. I've had that on my 10" VPCW11S1E for the last 2 years now.

An ultrabook back in, say, 2000, like my Sony Z600NE, had resolutions like 1024x768 on configurations like Pentium 3 650Mhz and 128MB RAM. How things have improved since then... except for the screen resolution!

We really need to see 1680x1050 as a minimum on any screen over 11". You really don't get much "y" on a 768 screen. People need to get with "120dpi" and "large icons" for better screen readability. We all love "retina displays" on iphones, ipads, Galaxy Tabs, and GPS navigators, but the PC industry is lagging in delivering high pixel density to users.
I have to agree that screen resolution isn't that great. To be fair, ASUS' UX31 has a 1600x900 screen which is great. I'd like to see much higher resolutions in the desktop market though
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#11
Red_Machine
Sony's VAIO subnotebook series (not I DIDN'T say "ultrabook") have always had nice resolutions. But they've always been priced in MacBook Pro territory. The latest ones have terrible speakers, too.
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#12
R_1
Screens are the Achilles' heel for most of the x86 notebooks. It seams that all hardware vendors think that screen is not important and it should be as cheap as possible, where in smartphone/tablet area it is the opposite. You can find 5" HD Super AMOLED + on Galaxy Note and all of the middle range tablets got IPS screens too.
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#13
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Completely Bonkers

We really need to see 1680x1050 as a minimum on any screen over 11". You really don't get much "y" on a 768 screen. People need to get with "120dpi" and "large icons" for better screen readability. We all love "retina displays" on iphones, ipads, Galaxy Tabs, and GPS navigators, but the PC industry is lagging in delivering high pixel density to users.
Because PC's have a much more open environment DPI can make things look like shit. iDevices and GPS navigators are pretty locked in and in the GPS's case they only do one thing so you can make the UI look good.

That needs to be fixed before I'm buying a 1920x1080 13 inch laptop running Windows. I guess Windows 8 and the Metro apps would solve a bit of that issue.
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#14
Red_Machine
Aye, that's the major issue with Windows and high res displays. It doesn't scale very well and looks like crap on high DPI settings.
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#15
Fourstaff
I personally don't bother as much about the screen resolutions. 1366x768 is perfectly adequate for me, going from my flatmate's 1600x900 13.3" UX31 to my 1366x768 15.4" doesn't have as much of a "omg shit screen" feeling as you would expect. My 1366x768 to Sony Vaio Z's 1920x1200 doesn't give me any kick at all either, other than "oh, the Z has amazing screen, I jelly :(". The only one which I am impressed with is MBA 11" 1366x768, and that has nothing to do with the resolution, more to do with the better colour reproduction than your run off the mill laptops.
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#16
Red_Machine
Resolutions are terrible these days. My Dell Inspiron 8100 from 2001 has a resolution of 1600x1200, granted it cost £1800 though back in the day.
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#17
Fourstaff
by: Red_Machine
Resolutions are terrible these days. My Dell Inspiron 8100 from 2001 has a resolution of 1600x1200, granted it cost £1800 though back in the day.
For an inflation wrecked £1800 now you can get a computer with 1920x1080: Sony Vaio Z.

Or you can be a bit of a skint and get something cheaper: http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/MSI_GT680R_1071249.html

Either way, computers have become cheaper, and the relentless drive to make it even cheaper came with compromises, although you can still get quality products if you are willing to pay more than "average" (which is still about 50% of what you would have paid back then, after inflation).

Oh, I have not take to account of the debasing of the Pound yet, it gets cheaper elsewhere.
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#18
Delta6326
Awesome I'm liking all of these price cuts in the news. My aging Dell Inspiron 9200 with a Pentium M at 1.6Ghz, 512MB Ram and ATI 9700Pro is getting very old with a battery life of about 1.5 hours.
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#19
coldtortilla
AMD's ultrabook equivalent did not see this coming hopefully they can still manage to sell them cheaper, they just need to give us more info on the preformance we should expect from their machines.
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#20
EpicShweetness
by: n-ster
You are way off my friend.

1st, I said they are good enough for most people, ie: the average user

2nd, the way you are phrasing that is as if I were to say, "I don't see a gaming PC much different than a 300$ PC but with a better CPU and a GPU" . Not only is a false and a generalization, but it purposely makes it look like there isn't much of a difference.

You are comparing to NETBOOKS ?!?! Seriously? comparing an i3/i5 to an atom is just laughable. It's like me comparing an i7 3930K to an AMD sempron. NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL. Why don't you first compare it to a normal laptop with the same specs...

What I am saying is that the average user doesn't have to worry too much and knows that an ultrabook has a nice balance between battery life, power and portability. an i3/i5 with an SSD is nothing to laugh at, especially if incased in 0.5~0.7" of thickness and under 3 lbs while having good battery life, often 6~8 hours. I agree that RIGHT NOW they are still lacking, but with further price drops they will be just fine. For university students and business men, the portability is worth a lot so if the S3 had the 6 cell battery, it would totally be worth it at 799$ Acer Aspire S3-951-6646 Ultrabook Intel Core i5 24...

What I would like to see in future generations is 6-cell batteries, still keep it at ~0.6" thickness like they do now, keep it 2.5~2.75 lbs, and have an SSD, 128GB is perfect. One with current generation processor and gpu I'd is worth the 750~800$ and with ivy bridge CPU and GPU, if what they show is true, should be worth the 949~999$.
I'm gonna step in a defend here a little bit. Yes the I7 2677M is better then lets say a Atom D2700 the best Atom. The real question is how much more can it do then the Atom? Further more what more should you be doing with it in a "ultra-mobile" form? If the answer is general computing then the Ultrabook loses HARD! A 2677M is $317 vs a $52 D2700, and both will do the task of General computing. Basically a netbook is alot cheaper then a ultrabook, and while it can't do everything an ultrabook can do the ultrabook can't get alot more accomplished then your general computing needs. So why am I gonna spend 2 to 3 times more money!
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#21
n-ster
Why compare it to the i7? look the i5 2557m for example. and even then, the prices seem like BS on the intel website, an i3 2367m and an i5 2557m isn't nearly the same price.

I cannot find the Atom D2700 anywhere except in the ASUS vx6s at the amazon.co.uk store for 450 pounds. My guess is later on, you'll be able to find a netbook with the Atom D2500 at 399$ ish price range.

So let's compare the i5 2557m to the D2700 like you wanted. Well let us first look at the TDP, 17W vs 10W. Now the IGP is the Intel 3000 vs GMA3650. Performance-wise http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmarklist.2436.0.html

The D2700 got 1148 in 3DMark06 and 0.7 in Cinebench R11.5 64Bit while the 2557m got 2750 and 2.2 . The 2557m is ranked 95th while the D2500/2700 are ranked 441/342 out of 560.

Now for the IGP. http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benchmark-List.844.0.html The GMA 3650 got 440 in the 3DMark 06 while the Intel 3000 got 3586.5 . The Intel 3000 is ranked 217th while the GMA3600/3650 are ranked 346/339th out of 380.

So for a mere 7W, the i5 2557m CRUSHES the D2700 by a LONGSHOT. How much more can you do? A LOT MORE is what. Your argument is that the Atom is "enough". Good, then get an Atom, but often, netbooks are too small for people (screen size). Also, the i5 2557m can actually do a bit of gaming, photoshop, etc. If I want to play League of Legends for example, or Maplestory or any of those not so demanding games that are pretty popular. An ultrabooks laughs at you and gives it to you in smooth constant 60 fps. The Atom will be getting you 10 fps ~ 30 fps and barely playable, and forget it if there is too much action on the screen it is 1~5 fps. Not to mention everything is quicker, playing a 720p MKV of a Bluray @ 7GB will actually work on that ultrabook, but not on the netbook. Unzipping a large file won't take forever. The programs you need to run to do your Uni homework or that does an Analysis of the stock Market will actually work! You can actually connect your Ultrabook to your 1080p 55" Plasma screen and enjoy a 25GB 1080p MKV! Hell you can easily use an Ultrabook as a business computer and connect it to your screen at the office and not have to worry about performance

An Ultrabook is NOTHING NEAR a netbook. Think of it as an Ultra portable laptop. This is a 550~600$ laptop with a better build quality, lighter, much better battery life and much thinner with very good looks, and if you look at the ASUS ones, you can add to that a better screen. Most people will buy a laptop over a netbook, and a lot buy both. Now there is an in-between that fits a lot of people's needs with the portability of a netbook and the power of a laptop, while looking much better than either.

So I did a quick newegg search for a laptop that is 11.6~13.4" and that has an i3 2310m or 2330m (they are about equivalent to the 2557m) with at least 4GB of RAM and the best you can find is 629.99$ here. If you look at the specs, the laptop is more than TWICE the thickness of an ultrabook and weighs in at 4.4 lbs and only 4.5 hours battery life, which is half of some ultrabooks. I think that for the extra 200$ ish, an ultrabook would be a much better buy. And people don't have to worry about the size and weight and battery life of an ultrabook because all of them have to respect intel's specifications. Then of course, many ultrabooks also have an SSD, which is another major plus.

IMO, Ultrabooks are perfect for the majority, especially for business and University, so basically anybody between the ages of 18~40 are going to be satisfied with them, plus the business people :p The balance that they bring between portability and performance is just unmatched, and I'm expecting that it will be even better with Ivy Bridge.
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#22
Red_Machine
Is the Atom still on par with a Pentium 4 these days?
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#23
n-ster
I believe the Pentium 4 CRUSHES Atoms in single-threaded applications, but once you go with 2 threads, the Atom is on par and at least in the case of the D2500/2700, probably beats it consistently (probably the case for every dual-core Atom). Single core Atoms probably get beat everytime by a P4 @ 3.6Ghz
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#24
R_1
Some Linpack score from iPad 2 (Cortex-A9 based A5) :




I believe it is only 25% from P4 CPU score, but 300% above Atom D2500/2700 score. :toast:
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#25
Red_Machine
I'd rather have a Prntium 4, then. Hell, my Pentium !!! laptop would be better if it had DDR RAM.
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