Report: Only 5% of notebooks sold in 2012 will be ultrabooks

Intel has put a lot of effort into promoting ultrabooks, but consumers don’t seem to be flocking to the ultra-slim notebooks. DigiTimes’ sources in the Taiwanese supply chain claim that only 5% of notebooks shipped this year will be classified as ultrabooks. That figure is expected to rise to 20% in 2013, which is a big improvement but not as high as earlier predictions. A year ago, IHS iSuppli expected ultrabook to make up 13% of notebook shipments this year and 28% in 2013.

As processor power envelopes shrink and SSDs become more affordable, it’s becoming easier for notebook makers to build systems that meet Intel’s ultrabook requirements. Prices remain relatively high, though, and Haswell may not bring any relief on that front. An ultrabook roadmap published by WCCFtech suggests Haswell-based ultrabooks will cost $700 and up, just like existing Ivy-based models. The roadmap also mentions a baseline battery life specification of nine hours, a substantial increase over Intel’s current five-hour minimum.

Ultrabooks would certainly be a lot more appealing if they offered battery life in the same ballpark as modern tablets. Speaking of tablets, the ultrabook roadmap recommends touchscreens and hybrid designs for Haswell-based systems. “Full HD” displays are suggested, as well, but it seems likely that those features will be available only in ultrabooks at the high end of the price spectrum.

Comments closed
    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    Intel got cocky here.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 7 years ago

    I bought the [url=http://www.asus.com/Notebooks/Superior_Mobility/ASUS_ZENBOOK_UX32VD/<]Asus Zenbook UX32VD[/url<] at the end of June. Sure, I'd like a touchscreen convertible with Haswell, but I needed a new notebook by mid-July of this year, not 2013. The 13.3" non-glare 1920x1080 IPS display is gorgeous. It's very portable (only 3.2 pounds). It works fine on battery for work and light use and it works better plugged into the wall for moderate gaming (e.g.: Guild Wars 2). Overall, I'm thrilled with this replacement for my previous luggable gaming notebook.

    • SixIron
    • 7 years ago

    This should not be a surprise to anyone. Long experience has taught me, when someone comes to me for advice on buying a new laptop and I took the time to find out their needs/usage etc and made a recommendation that fit the bill, they usually ended up buying the cheapest laptop they could find.

    Those that have bought ultrabooks probably did so knowing the limitations up front; less battery life typically, no hard wired nic, no optical drive, etc., yet the very light weight and mobility can still make them very attractive to some, even with the higher cost.

    The Windows 8 convertibles/tablets running full pc components (not ARM) will relegate ultrabooks even further into a niche market, if not rendering them obsolete altogether. Ultrabooks without touchscreens will be dead soon. As touchscreen tablets/convertibles mature, there will be less and less ultrabooks, their price points aren’t that far apart right now.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    I’d love to get an Ultrabook. I don’t have the funds to spare right now, but if I did I’d have absolutely no problem paying $1,000 for a high quality, well built, nice looking, thin, light Ultrabook.

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      Despite my criticism, I’m dead set on buying a U38N myself. 1080p IPS, zen book build quality, a touch screen, an A10 APU that games decently well, and an unlocked CPU for massive potential battery life under $1000 actually sounds kinda neat.

      EDIT: Well technically, it’s not an ultrabook.

    • xeridea
    • 7 years ago

    IHS supply is always predicting things to do with massive trends towards things like this, and are always wrong.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    [b<]Every tech-enthusiast on the planet turns to face Santa Clara as they utter the phrase [i<]"I told you so" at Intel[/i<]....[/b<]

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    If they were to build 10inch or smaller ultrabooks I would be interested. When I buy a laptop, portability is my number one concern.

    So, in the ultrabook camp the best I can find is a 11.6 inch 1.1kg zenbook. Zenbook has a nice CPU.

    In the netbook camp, the best I can find is a 10 inch 1.1kg aspire one. Much slower CPU, but a far superior GPU.

    Both offer similar battery life, screens, etc, but the netbook wins on portability which is my number one concern. It also costs under $300, while the zenbook costs over 1000.

    Why would I pay far more for less?

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    Look at the Etc. that was posted earlier… $179 notebooks selling like hotcakes. Are they crappy? Sure. Does it matter? Not to a large portion of the consumer market.

    Ultrabooks can sell more IFF the price comes down or if there are outside factors like the Apple RDF that manufacture sales. Since there is only one Apple, everybody else has to get the prices down. Intel needs to be part of that equation too (although it is not the only culprit), but Intel may be unwilling to make the price cuts needed to get Ultrabooks more widely deployed, and that is that.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Yup. The AMD Brazos-powered note/netbooks have been selling well:

      Many people see computers as disposable these days, so why should they spend a lot of money when their internet/email/youtube experience runs just fine on a thinnish, lightish 12-14″ laptop with a mediocre but capable CPU and decent battery life?

      [i<](Pro-tip: The answer is "they shouldn't")[/i<]

        • brucethemoose
        • 7 years ago

        The rest see them as long term appliances, like a TV or fridge. If it ain’t broke, why buy a new one?Hence XP is still everywhere, desktop sales went the way of HDTV and dropped like a stone, and thin expensive laptops aren’t selling.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          This. I don’t replace my laptop very often. When I do, I go for specs that should keep me satisfied for a while. And as I don’t refresh often, I’m willing to pay more for something really good. On the other hand, that also means I have to time my rare upgrade well.. that’s why I’m waiting for Haswell

            • End User
            • 7 years ago

            Which laptop are you using now?

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            I have a 3.5 years old Gateway 11.6″ CULV laptop, with the slowest Core2Duo you could possibly find. It’s served me well (and in fact I write most of my TR comments on it, like this one), but it struggles with Flash.

            It’s small and portable, though, with good battery life (I get something like 6-7h). And with an SSD it’s relatively snappy, all things considered.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            Yet more proof that Ultrabooks are total overkill:

            If a slowest-Core2-you-could-possibly-find is up to the job of web-browsing, then why exactly would your average Joe be willing to pay for more performance?

            I have a 1.8GHz, Single-core Turion64 that I put the early Windows 8 preview onto. With 2GB of RAM and a spare 60GB Agility SSD that was sitting around (old skool Indilinx Barefoot) the thing utterly flew along. I was actually amazed at how well flash video worked, given that I’ve seen how bad it [i<]can[/i<] be on something like an Atom netbook.

      • Voldenuit
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Intel may be unwilling to make the price cuts needed to get Ultrabooks more widely deployed[/quote<] The cynic in me says that intel created the ultrabook name just so it can charge higher premiums on the same components, so I don't think they'll see the light until well after it's too late (if/when ARM SoCs or AMD APUs in tablets and netbooks become the default consumer choice).

    • allreadydead
    • 7 years ago

    Well, it stood on 5% because;
    1. Price. It’s just not happening.
    2. Price/Performance.

    Let me explain myself before you all hit minus button 🙂 Intel came with VERY strict restrictions for ultrabooks. There was a good reason for it; Intel knew their richie rich partners had immense R&D labs but those partners were only using it for making even cheaper and lowestest quality products. So Intel did all the R&D work and came with strict rules to prevent taiwanese partners ruin Ultrabooks. That rules resulted copycat products. Why ? because those big partners had very limited/none vision how a good product should be. As there are rules, they just dumbly followed the line Intel drew… The key word is dumbly here. For every R&D effort they put in, they charged insane premium. Want brushed aluminium looking material instead of cheapo plastic ? pay premiuuuuummm !!!1111 This behaviour resulted first line, inflated price.
    Because of all those restrictions and not sane extra spec pricing policy, the overall user experience of the ultrabooks stayed in a level lower than it should be. Ultra portable, blazing fast on/off and good battery life accompanied with good chassis fitted with gorgeous IPS LCDs were all we always wanted….

    However, we also wanted it for a reasonable price. As a consumer fits in almost enthusiast, I know I have to pay a premium for an “ultrabook” over a regular laptop. But comeon, when I can buy 2 of *almost* same hardware specced laptop for a price of a good ultrabook, that’s just wrong. Thats where there are failing; very good products, with unacceptable prices.

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      Yarp. The only “ultra” books I’m interested in are too expensive for me to just buy on a whim. I like the Samsung Series 9’s… but here in Oz they’re $1500-1900

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    They aren’t really practical, aren’t cost effective, and offer few tangible benefits over the older laptops that most customers own now. Intel bet that ultrabooks would become “trendy”. Like upgrading to a new macbook, new smartphone or a new car, Intel hoped that upgrading to an ultrabook would become the cool thing to do, as most people don’t upgrade these things out of necessity or for practical reasons.

    They seem to be losing that bet… as a college student, I’m in an environment where you tend to see trendy technology. I’ve see far too many macbook pros, lots of new Lenovo, HP, Acer, Asus, and Dell laptops, iPads and Nexus 7s, new iPhones and Android phones, a few Win8 devices… but no ultrabooks. Unless you count the Macbook air, I can’t name 1 person who owns one. The few people I know who’ve even heard the term seem to think they’re overpriced and aren’t that useful.

    This figure doesn’t suprise me at all. If anything, I think touchscreen Windows 8 ultrabooks could take off and boost sales a bit. Otherwise, I don’t see that 5% rising anytime soon.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      Well the laptops you’re seeing in college settings are “desktop replacements,” meaning that they need to be as functional as desktop, but also be mobile enough to fit in a backpack (most people would like battery life, but it’s not a dealbreaker).

      Honestly, I’m not sure who Ultrabooks are for. If I needed a mobile work or gaming station, I’d be fine with a heavy laptop because it would still be more portable than my desktop, and I wouldn’t mind short battery life because I would probably be close to an outlet at all times. And if I really needed something for easy consumption, I have a smartphone and could get a tablet.

      But Ultrabooks aren’t phenomenal on horsepower. They seem great for hp/lb and have nice battery life, but with alternatives more effectively equipped for mobile environments and uses, why get one?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This