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Fiberglass ultrabooks could be coming in Q1 2012

As ultrabooks ramp up production, manufacturers such as Acer and Asus may be looking for fiberglass materials in order to meet demand

At least one ultrabook manufacturer may be considering cheaper build materials in order to keep the ultrathin notebooks as competitively priced as possible.

According to DigiTimes, Taiwanese manufacturer Acer is currently planning to launch a 15-inch ultrabook made of fiberglass casing by sometime early 2012. Competing Taiwanese company Asus may follow the fiberglass trend as well. Overall, the industry sources claim a $20 USD price reduction off each retail ultrabook when compared to using magnesium alloy solutions instead.

As to why we may not be seeing fiberglass ultrabooks before the end of the year, the Q4 2012 market is seen as “unfavorable” to Acer, says DigiTimes. Ultrabook makers have reportedly been having headaches attempting to reach the desired sub-$1000 price point without cutting out performance.

This isn’t the first time we heard rumblings of fiberglass notebooks. Back in early August, the same sources pointed out that multiple ultrabook manufacturers have been looking towards fiberglass solutions due to the material’s comparable toughness to magnesium alloy at up to $10 USD less per case. The raw supply of fiberglass is said to be more easily attainable as well, since Apple has had a strong grasp on many magnesium alloy contractors.

Both Acer and Asus are set to launch the ultrathin magnesium alloy Aspire S3 and UX21, respectively, before the end of the year. These notebooks are expected to be the ones to kick start the Intel ultrabook generation.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-10- 8 (Update: 2012-05-26)