Affordable UltraBooks are coming but they aren’t UltraBooks

“There are looming PC wars coming and it isn’t between Macs and Windows based notebooks,” Ben Bajarin writes for TechPinions. “If you follow this industry you know that Intel is seeking to rejuvenate the notebook market. They are doing this by putting quite a bit of marketing weight behind the term UltraBook.”

“The challenge as I see it for UltraBooks is that many of the first ones at launch and perhaps those that follow will be priced more in the premium price range rather than value,” Bajarin writes. “Many of the early UltraBooks we will see will be $699 and above although a few may get lower and many will skew higher as well. What our consumer data from our own research and consumer interviews is telling us is that Apple has about a $250 grace price point. Consumers know Apple’s Macbook Pro and MacBook Air lines are not the cheapest products on the market. For MacBook intenders, any comparable product must be at least $250 less than a comparable MacBook product to fully sway a consumer when price comes into play.”

Bajarin writes, “Earlier in the week AMD launched a very impressive 2nd-Generation A-Series APU, codenamed “Trinity.” Many OEMs have strong relationships with AMD and will most likely use these chips in their lineup of notebooks. So how do OEMs cover their bases by making non-Intel UltraBooks? Well, HP recently launched a new term called SleekBooks. We call this category Ultrathins and we expect many Ultrathins to enter the market well below the price of UltraBooks. And that is what makes this so interesting… If Ultrathins that are very thin, light, and powerful hit the market below the $599 price like we think may happen, it could provide a serious jump start to the notebook category. And at $599 or lower the prices of quality notebooks will be significantly less than an entry level MacBook Air, which may be a key in slowing down Apple’s momentum with Macs.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: They’re still saddled with Windows. Your father’s OS. Only Apple’s Macintosh runs OS X and can also slum it with Windows natively or via fast virtualization until new Mac users realize they don’t need it or want to run it ever again.


  1. I am afraid the $250 “gracepoint” only holds for the converted. For people who don’t grasp the Mac vs Windows advantage, the gracepoint is at $0 + a tiny amount if Macs continue to look much classier than those uglybooks.

    1. I think the point of the story was that more and more people do grasp the Mac vs Windows advantage. Most of the people I talk to get that Macs are a much better computer, they just haven’t made the switch yet.

  2. Won’t these things fall into the same trap as the netbooks did? Insufficient memory & storage, inferior displays and poor build quality? Seems like it’s gonna be a rerun of what we’ve seen before!

      1. Well, certainly the shoppers that go to Apple stores know this. However, those that “used” to shop JCPenny, well they are junkies and addicted to low prices sans quality. You can check them out at your local dollar store.

  3. Question, why buy any windows Utrabook or Slimbook – netbook or notebook at any price higher than 500 bucks?

    People like the iPad – it does what most folks need and want at three separate and nice price points even if higher then 500 bucks.

    Nope, FAIL. This new plan of pcs will not go well.

    Drop the price of this plan and offer at 219.99 to 359.99 and then people might think of steering away from Apple.
    Why, because it isn’t just the hardware. The chips can be as super as you can dream up but IF THEY RUN WINDOWS 7 or 8 – at 599 you can kiss that plan to fail in a week.

      1. But as we know it’s seldom taken into consideration. It’s always the price to purchase. Which is one of the reasons gov’t. stuff and bidding on things like this is so f#@*ed up.

    1. @Thelonious Mac:
      Since when has a PC EVER been cheaper than a Mac when the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Return On Investment (ROI) have been considers AS WELL AS shelf price?

      Answer: NEVER.

      Example: To this day I am STILL running an Internet FTP server 24/7 on my 1997 PowerMac 9600 souped up with a G3 900 MHz CPU. I can’t kill the thing. (Knock on wood of course). 1997. Not a typo. It’s running Mac OS X Server 10.3.9.

      IOW: Broke schools want to invest in technology that LASTS, is inexpensive to maintain and remains usable beyond the lifetime of any PC. That would be a Mac.

      You won’t find any professional PC and Mac value comparisons to the contrary.

  4. There are plenty of things apple can do. How about a iPad 2, keyboard, mouse and bundle with an HP printer. Discount everything but the iPad, or give them the printer or wait for the mini iPad.

  5. I am stunned by the unmitigated gall that intel shows with their ” Inspired by intel” campaign.

    They know something we don’t. Ie: apple is dropping intel in the very near future. Intel tried to f$ck apple I. He past and the revenge (like sony’s) is a long, long time coming.

  6. There’s something else going on though. I ran into a devout windows lowest possible price guy last weekend that I know. He had this huge grin on his face when we started talking. He just got handed an iPad at work and thought it was the best computer he has ever used! The integration of Apple in the enterprise is going to be a significant mover of people who would never consider Apple to now look very seriously at their products.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.