Toshiba, Asus, Acer, Samsung Ultrabooks Dominate CES
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, ultra-thin laptops with powerful specswidely dubbed "ultrabooks"are the hot new thing. Their manufacturers likely hope that, unlike the hot new things of past yearsincluding netbooks and tabletsultrabooks will have some staying power on the marketplace, as consumers embrace thinner and lighter laptops that are nonetheless capable of delivering the sort of high-level experience demanded by both consumers and businesses. Asus, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Lenovo are just a few of the companies debuting ultrabook models here at the show. According to analysts, however, ultrabooks aren't necessarily a marketplace slam-dunk. "The prices, mostly in the $1,000 price range, are much more reasonable than they used to be for comparable PCs, but they're still not affordable for every PC buyer," Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester, wrote in a Jan. 6 posting on her corporate blog. In a September survey her firm conducted of 5,130 online consumers, some 22 percent signaled interest in ultrabooks at that $1,000 price-point. "Not bad," she wrote, "but an indication that ultrabooks will appeal only to a certain segment of consumers, and won't replace every laptop on the shelves." But that won't stop Intel and various manufacturers from pushing ultrabooks hard throughout 2012.