Intel promises Santa will bring cheaper Ultrabooks

If Intel Corp. has its way, Santa Claus will be leaving cheaper Ultrabook laptops under many Christmas trees this holiday season.

The Ultrabook, the Intel-created guideline and trademark for a slim and sleek ultraportable laptop that has been taken up by many major PC vendors, has failed to catch on with consumers as many had hoped due, in part, to a price range that has been difficult to drive below the $1000 barrier, and closer to the $500 level seen as the sweet spot for mass consumer adoption.

Intel is hoping to change that in time for the all-important holiday shopping season. According to a report from CRN, at last week’s Intel Solutions Summit, the vendor indicated its upcoming “Haswell” fourth generation of Core processors will enable $599 ultrabook pricing. Intel executive Kirk Skaugen, who leads the vendor’s PC client group, said the new generation of ultrabooks will also require a touchscreen, faster solid state drives and better displays and battery life.

In an interview in February with IT World Canada, Todd Bradley, who heads HP’s PC business, pinpointed price as one thing preventing the ultrabook form factor from taking off.

“The Ultrabook form factor is compelling. Like many products, as the prices become more aggressive we’ll see broader deployment. I think the price point (is an issue). The AMD-based (HP) Sleekbook has been very aggressively adopted. I think there’s a market there, a broad market, and this is one segment of it. I don’t think there’s any one answer to the computing question today,” said Bradley.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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