NEWS ANALYSIS: Ultrabooks are expected to become big winners in the coming months. But there are some issues standing in their way that could determine whether these thin and lightweight Ultrabooks go the way of netbooks.
has said for months that it'll be a staunch supporter of Ultrabooks
the company delivered the proof on May 9 when it unveiled a wave of new
enterprise-focused Ultrabooks. Led by the EliteBook Folio 9470m, HP's new line
of business Ultrabooks could very well play an integral role in the success or
failure of the company's enterprise-focused computing line. To say that
Ultrabooks are very important to HP would be an understatement.
But HP isn't alone. Ultrabooks are increasing in popularity, and more and
more vendors are deciding to offer them. The computers are a bit on the
expensive side; HP's new Spectre Pro Ultrabook, for example, costs $1,049. But
it delivers the kind of mobility that had heretofore not been available in the
Windows notebook market. Thanks to Intel, Ultrabooks are now a real challenger
in the computing space.
But that doesn't mean they'll succeed. There are several major issues that
could potentially stymie Ultrabook growth in the computing space and send the
product category to the junk bin.
Read on to find out the issues that are standing in the way of Ultrabook
successnow and in the future.
1. We can't forget about tablets
Although Ultrabooks might be considered a different category to some folks,
they're still competing against tablets. Customers who want to be able to
achieve certain computing goals while on the go are deciding between a
lightweight notebook like an Ultrabook and the iPad.
The fact that Ultrabooks are competing against the iPad
is a major
challenge to the success of the slimmer, lighter form factors from HP and other
As noted, Ultrabooks are rather expensive compared with other PC forms. In
fact, if one wants to buy one of the older models, they'll still need to drop
about $700 to $900. The newer Ultrabooks on store shelves are now setting
customers back as much as $1,300. Considering nice, nearly as thin notebooks
are retailing for half that, Ultrabooks might have a problem selling customers
on their price.
3. Intel's control
created the Ultrabook spec
, which means it's playing a role in every one of
the computers that are hitting store shelves. To some vendors, that's not a
problem. But to others that are used to simply acquiring a chip from Intel and
moving on, it is. Look for Intel's relationship with vendors to play a crucial
role in the success or failure of Ultrabooks.
4. How will Windows 8 fare?
Although Ultrabooks are available now and running Windows 7, the Ultrabook
makers are waiting for the introduction of Windows 8. If Windows 8 becomes a
success, it will make it much easier to sell Ultrabooks. But if the operating
system fails, all kinds of trouble could ensue. Expect Windows 8 to be a key
component in the success or failure of Ultrabooks.