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Ultrabooks not expected to drop in price soon

Intel explains how Ultrabook price cuts will be a long term cooperative effort between the chipmaker and notebook manufacturers

If you want an ultrathin notebook with respectable performance and battery life, expect to pay premium prices unless you’re willing to wait a couple of years.

During an interview between Reuters and Intel VP of sales and marketing Navin Shenoy, the representative hinted at potential price drops being a long ways off. A retail price of around $700 could skyrocket Ultrabook sales, says Reuters, but reaching such a price range will continue to be a long challenge for manufacturers.

At some point you’ll have to be at that [$699] price point, but it doesn’t have to be overnight,” said Shenoy to Reuters. “It takes time to engineer a cost down.

Shenoy went on to explain that Intel must work with its industry partners to lower Ultrabook price points, as even “giving the chips away for free” would not help. Intel will be investing at least $300 million over the next few years to Ultrabook advancements and development.

Currently, the cheapest Ultrabook available is the Acer Aspire S3, but the Taiwanese manufacturer had to cut many corners to reach even a $900 price tag. This includes a plastic base instead of aluminum alloy and a mechanical drive instead of a fully-featured SSD. As market price of NAND flash falls, however, we expect Ultrabook prices to follow.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-10-25 (Update: 2012-05-26)