Ultrabook mass production to kick off in September

Word got out earlier this month that HP might be the first to launch an ultrabook, and that still sounds like the rumor du jour in Taiwan. However, DigiTimes has now added a slight clarification based “sources from the upstream supply chain”: Asus may actually be the first to mass-produce an ultrabook.

Those supply chain sources, DigiTimes adds, suggest that big notebook players including HP, Acer, Asus, Dell, and Lenovo all plan to kick off ultrabook mass production in September. However, due to LCD panel shortages (which I’m assuming is what DigiTimes means by “low panel yield rate”), Acer and Dell may end up late to the party… and it sounds like Asus might be pulling ahead of HP. Asus did, after all, showcase the first ultrabook at Computex earlier this year.

Just don’t get too excited about shopping for ultrabooks in the near future. DigiTimes says products won’t hit the market until later this year, and HP’s first ultrabooks might even slip into early 2012. I’m sure everyone’s trying to get systems out the door in time for the holiday shopping rush, though.

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    • End User
    • 8 years ago

    Ubuntu on an ultrabook will be sweet!

    • Imperor
    • 8 years ago

    There’s always something just around the corner isn’t there?

    I’m buying my daughter a new laptop for school as she starts 6th grade (equivalent of 7th in the US as we have a “pre-year” at six yo) in a new private school this fall. (Which teaches in English as well as Swedish although we’re in Sweden).
    I’m teetering on the edge between a nice Fusion like Asus 1215B with all the trimmings like USB3 and something more powerful like a 13″ Asus U31 with an i5 and GF415… I’m gonna consult my daughter on it but I guess her first choice would be an iPad… :-/ Scott and Geoff have convinced me to the contrary with their latest pieces though! (ThinkPad?)

    Sounds like this is the compromise I’m looking for (or perhaps a tablet with Win8) but those are too late. Need one now.

    • ew
    • 8 years ago

    So that’s how long it takes to print out a bunch of stickers and slap them on your products.

    • nagashi
    • 8 years ago

    Here’s to hoping that the low yields are due to manufactures trying to ship something a bit denser than the 1366×768 low-dpi shit the market is currently flooded with.

      • Goty
      • 8 years ago

      Wishful thinking is the best kind. 😉

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      God, I hope you’re right.

      • stdRaichu
      • 8 years ago

      Call me a cynic, but I’ll ship you a pony if you turn out to be right.

      What’s the definition of “ultrabook” anyway? I know I’ve been wishing for an 11-12″ to replace my 1810TZ* – I don’t give a crap about it being 5mm thicker since the length and width is, IMHO, a more constraining factor for portability IMHO. Thicker also means I’m more likely to get my >8hr battery life.

      * awesome in all ways… apart from the worse-than-usual TN screen.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        the acer 1810tz is a damn good machine and a great example of why this whole thing is dumb. My wife has one, and it’s no doubt worth the 399$ we paid for it. why would i pay more for a similar system?

          • stdRaichu
          • 8 years ago

          Granted, the 1810TZ is a great machine but I’d gladly pay more for an 1810TZ Mk2 with a nicer screen, an mSATA slot and a sandy bridge chip. 4GB of RAM and an SSD and it’s the machine that finally got me using laptops on a regular basis. My acer cost me £500 new, I’d gladly pay £1000 for something better in the same form factor.

          Normally I’d be all over machines like the ThinkPad X220 but I find the touchpad horrific and so far the 11-12″ market segment is annoyingly full of netbooks and netbooks only. Just hoping this “ultraportable” gubbins is more than just “we’re like Apple too!” marketing fluff.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Ultra books are good news for us. I was hoping to Get a decent power to portability ratio for under 1,000 dollars and this looks to make that happen in my life time 🙂

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      Not really. This is form over function at it’s finest. It just means there will be more overpriced, less capable laptops that look like they’re going to snap in half if the wind blows.

      The main requirements are under 0.8″ thick and under $999, not that it gets you X hours more battery, has any particular performance standard, or costs less than existing ultraportables. Those are all sacrifices that are going to be made to reach the frivolous thinness requirement, not vice versa.

      That means 40w-ish batteries that can’t be swapped out and Core i3 or less – 1.3 GHz at best and no turbo boost for ULV. This is already the case with existing ultrabook equivalent laptops that are riding the $1,000 mark, like the Samsung Series 9. Intel is just trying to force OEMs to cut even more corners so that it stops looking like a better deal to buy both a tablet and a cheap laptop.

      End result: mainstream laptops with a more expensive chassis and low capacity SSDs, and even more corners cut to keep them under $1,000 – and just barely.

      There’s no reason to make all those compromises when things like the Thinkpad X200s have been below $1,000 for years with 9 cell batteries, and ultraportables with fewer options, but still good battery life, have gone as low as $400. Think Macbook Air with a slower CPU and shoddy screen. Hooray, now it’s $900…under $999!

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        yah, i don’t see the big deal either. there have been plenty of good portable laptops that provide all day computing while still having the balls to get the job done. this seems like more marketing lingo than anything. HAVE AN ULTRAPORTABLE? THROW THAT PIECE OF CRAP IN THE GARBAGE WHERE IT BELONGS. GET A MOFO’IN [i<] [b<] ULTRABOOK!!!!!!!!! [/i<] [/b<]

          • NeelyCam
          • 8 years ago

          It’ll be like a tablet with 1) much better performance, 2) a bigger screen, and 3) a keyboard. Overall, it addresses the three main issues I have with tablets.

          It’ll replace current ultraportables because it 1) is more ultraportable, and 2) has better performance.

          It’ll beat MacBook Air because it’s not a Mac.

          I can’t wait.

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