So far, Intel’s ultrabooks have been met with a decent reception from the press. I’ve written an editorial about their issues, but most of those problems as solvable given time and ingenuity. The ultrabook is not an instant hero, but it’s also far from a flop.
One issue that must be conquered in the short term, however, is price. The high-end laptop market is dominated by Apple and there’s no way for Intel to overturn that company’s brand perception overnight. If Intel wants ultrabooks to truly become common, they need prices to drop.
DigiTimes reports that Intel is working hard to this end by acting as a matchmaker between some of the second-tier laptop brands and major laptop manufacturers. The hope is that this relationship will allow smaller laptop brands like ViewSonic, Epson and Onkyo (yes, they all have laptops) produce laptops for as little as $599.
“With Intel’s matchmaking, prices of these vendors’ ultrabooks are expected to hit as low as US$599-649 to be able to compete against first-tier players, the paper noted.”
Don’t expect to see these laptops at a retailer near you any time soon. Most of these smaller brands have limited distribution, particularly in North America, where big established laptop brands rule the roost.
Intel’s hand in these affairs is just another example of how committed the company is to the ultrabook and how badly they want it to succeed.