Notebook makers preparing not-quite-ultrabooks

Intel has been eager to push ultrabooks, but the skinny systems remain relatively expensive, and that appears to be driving notebook makers to consider other options. According to DigiTimes, Acer originally intended for ultrabooks to make up 25-30% of its notebook shipments this year. That number has now been reduced to 12-20%, which is similar to the percentage of ultrabooks Asus expects to ship in 2012. “Market watchers” quoted by the site expect ultrabooks to account for just 10% of the notebooks shipped by Toshiba and HP.

We may see a lot of new notebook models that resemble ultrabooks but don’t carry Intel’s official blessing, though. In a separate article, DigiTimes says notebook vendors are preparing to release “ultra-like” notebooks with lower prices. These not-quite-ultrabooks will reportedly be similarly slim but use different materials. I suspect we’ll see fewer of those systems with SSDs installed. Some will likely be based on AMD’s upcoming Trinity APU, which will include a 17W variant targeted at smaller notebooks.

If you want more graphics horsepower than Trinity’s integrated Radeon, Sager’s 11.6″ NP6110 ultraportable will soon pair mobile Ivy Bridge CPUs with Nvidia’s GeForce GT 650M discrete GPU. The 650M has 384 ALUs clocked at 850MHz, so it’s a cut above the bottom-feeding GPUs we typically see in notebooks. The whole system weighs just under 4 lbs and measures close to 1.5″ at its thickest point, so it’s a bit of a heffer. At the very least, it looks like an interesting alternative for gamers seeking a compact system. The Sager starts at around $800 with a Sandy-based CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    On the subject of Trinity, are there any leaked gaming benchmarks yet?

    I have an i7-Q720 (1.6GHz) with a 4650 (320 ALU things and DDR3)

    It’s getting a little long in the tooth (only a little), but I’m not sure how much better the Trininty GPU will be than my existing laptop.

    Do we have rumoured specs of the 35W laptop parts?

      • brucethemoose
      • 8 years ago

      If anything, trinity will match it, but you’ll be able to actually game on battery.

    • drfish
    • 8 years ago

    [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=81456<]I'm planning[/url<] on getting the Sager on Monday if the price is right for the 35w Ivy Bridge quad... Unless I decide to keep waiting for Trinity at the last minute...

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Its proof that apple has become a master of the supply chain. In the past 2-3 years they’ve transformed themselves into a direct competitor for mainstream products all while maintaining the image of a premium brand. Mean while companies that simply haven’t cared to remain truly competitive are being driven to offer even more inferior products to try and undercut apple.

    If only the touchpad on their notebooks had better windows drivers…

      • blastdoor
      • 8 years ago

      It’s also proof that most people with money and an inclination to spend that money on computers have already decided that apple is the way to go. The pc brand has become synonymous with “cheap”, in every sense of the word. The result is that there just aren’t many buyers for a pc that costs as much as a Mac.

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    They’re almost, but not entirely, completely unlike [s<]tea[/s<] Ultrabooks.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 8 years ago

      Don’t panic!

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 8 years ago

      The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]an interesting alternative for gamers seeking a compact system[/quote<] Were I seeking such an alternative, I'd much rather see a Trinity APU equipped with a Radeon 7900M (1280 shaders at 850 MHz) via their 'Enduro' switching tech.

      • Alexko
      • 8 years ago

      Sure, but that wouldn’t fit in an ultra-thin design. The 7900M has a 100W TDP.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        True, but the target market is defined as ‘portable gaming system’, and even the current contender is described as a bit of a porker (thickness-wise, anyway)

        • ImSpartacus
        • 8 years ago

        Where did you find its TDP info? I couldn’t find it.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      Do you think a 7970M would make it into a laptop that doesn’t look like a brick?

      If it could fit in an ultraportable, it wouldn’t be at the top of AMD’s pecking order. The 7870 has a 190W powertune limit (not sure about TDP). The 7970M would be an underclocked version of that. I can’t imagine AMD getting much lower than the capabilities of mobile workstation cooling.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    I just want to see battery life no’s with an SSD and Ivybridge. Considering it has a lower voltage at similar SB clocks (when not overclocking it) surely the battery life can get better? :/

    Then I am jumping all over an Asus UX21/31 refresh or the Samsung 9 refresh.

    Scratch that… just give me a x220 with an SSD. Better screen/keyboard and usability.

    GOd dammit. This is why I never buy a laptop and just use my phone or my PC or my work laptop.

      • zdw
      • 8 years ago

      +1 on the x220. It has a mSATA slot for the SSD (if you can do without WWAN) which would allow the 2.5″ bay for use with a much larger media storage drive.

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