Intel: Haswell-based Ultrabooks starting at $599 by holiday season

By on March 26, 2013, 10:41 AM

We’ve been hearing about cheaper ultrabooks ever since Intel begun pushing the category almost two years ago. The first wave of devices mostly failed to adhere to the proposed $1,000 price point, and while things have improved ever since, we’ve yet to see truly mainstream prices as promised by the company. Well, that’s expected to change in time for the holiday season with the arrival of Haswell-based models.

Speaking at the Intel Solutions Summit in Los Angeles, Intel executive Kirk Skaugen said next generation Ultrabooks  will ship in time for the holiday shopping season with a starting price of $599.

Requirements as to what qualifies as an Ultrabook have changed over time, but the latest guidelines call for a thickness no greater than 18mm (for screens less than 14 inches) or 21mm (for screens larger than 14 inches), at least 5 hours of battery life, USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt and the inclusion of various Intel technologies.

Intel has previously said it expects the majority of Ultrabooks to have touchscreens before the end of 2013 but Skaugen’s comments suggest it will be a requirement for Haswell models. Other features you can expect to see according to the executive include faster solid state drives (SSDs), higher resolution displays, voice recognition, and "all-day" battery life -- just don’t expect all of this in the entry level models.

Back in 2011 Intel estimated Ultrabooks would account for 40% of the notebook market once prices hit the $600 price point. It remains to be seen whether that’ll be the case a year or so from now but so far the category has failed to make the big impact Intel was hoping for. Market research firm IHS iSuppli last fall slashed its 2013 forecast from 61 million units shipped to 44 million, noting that  Ultrabooks are competing for business against tablets, not MacBook Airs, and therefore prices for the ultrathin notebooks needed to go down to around $600.




User Comments: 7

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amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I don't see sales getting any better.

With the power you get in a iPad or simple Kindle Fire now, the laptop would need to more then make up for its price. Haswell at the heart, SSD, backlit keyboard, above average speakers (I love the 2.1 JBL's and subwoofer in my XPS) nothing less then 900p, plethora of plugins, excellent battery life, sexy design, etc etc etc.

Just my .02.

EEatGDL said:

Yep, I also love the 2.1 JBL's of my XPS 15; I'm the one in charge of the playlist when working at college on projects. I don't have SSD on mine but is fine anyway to me.

JC713 JC713 said:

The only way UltraBooks will succeed is if they make the minimum requirements: At least 8 hours of battery and an SSD. This is the only way they can compete with Apple. No one wants to spend $1500 on a PC that is "weaker" than a MBP.

Win7Dev said:

For $1500 I would get a workstation class laptop. For $1000 I would get an Asus n56vz or Dell XPS which are multimedia/light gaming laptops. For under $1000, I would buy a business laptop with a good processor minus the dedicated graphics card. For $600 I might as well just get an iPad for $100 less and has similar processing power.

JC713 JC713 said:

For $1500 I would get a workstation class laptop. For $1000 I would get an Asus n56vz or Dell XPS which are multimedia/light gaming laptops. For under $1000, I would buy a business laptop with a good processor minus the dedicated graphics card. For $600 I might as well just get an iPad for $100 less and has similar processing power.

Not really, an i3 vs an apple A6?

Guest said:

Sorry Sir, if you have a look at wikipedia, it is mentioned in there that minimum battery life for haswell ultrabooks is 9 hours and NOT 5 hour. I heard this from Intel executives that ultrabooks with haswell will have battery for a [working] day or 13 hours, too.

Thanks!

JC713 JC713 said:

9 hours with windows 8, imagine that number with Windows blue. Maybe that could become a 10 at least.

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