Ultrabooks Fail to Make the Grade as a Sound Purchase for Enterprises

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-07-01 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When Apple launched its MacBook Air not a single competing PC maker had a model that could match its thin profile and ultra-light design. This left a void in the Wintel market. In response, Intel decided that it would come up with its own lightweight, thin notebook specification, dubbed the Ultrabook, which would represent a new class of mobile computers that PC makers could build. The thin and nicely designed products are available from a wide array of vendors, including Samsung and Dell. However Ultrabooks present a bit of a problem for enterprise PC buyers. Ultrabooks represent yet another PC category and therefore, complicate the buying decisions. Previously, IT professionals focused on buying laptops or notebooks in the mobile category and those devices gave them all the power and features that they need. Now Ultrabooks are vying for enterprise dollars and companies need to decide whether those devices are better or worse than Macs and their notebook counterparts. For now, though, the answer is clear: IT shouldn’t invest in new Ultrabooks. Although they’re nice-looking and they are running Windows, they come with too many shortcomings and concerns to make them a solid investment for most companies. This eWEEK slide show examines why Ultrabooks aren’t sound enterprise IT investments.

 
 
 
  • Ultrabooks Fail to Make the Grade as a Sound Purchase for Enterprises

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Ultrabooks Fail to Make the Grade as a Sound Purchase for Enterprises
  • It's All About Tablets

    When it comes to corporate mobility, one thing is certain: tablets are the future. Companies around the globe are investing heavily in tablets, and devices like Apple's iPad allow for increased productivity, despite boasting a large touchscreen. Plus, tablets are cheaper than Ultrabooks.
    2 - It's All About Tablets
  • Budgets Are Constrained

    As the world attempts to recover from the Great Recession, IT budgets are among the last to be replenished. That means that companies have constrained budgets and need to be careful where they spend their cash. Considering that, investing in Ultrabooks doesn't make much sense.
    3 - Budgets Are Constrained
  • The Cloud Is the Best Investment

    So, why does investing in Ultrabooks not make much sense? Blame it on the other investment opportunities out there. And chief among those investment opportunities might just be cloud-based solutions. A wide array of providers are offering cloud solutions that increase productivity and merge a company's many offline assets into a single service. Don't overlook the value of the cloud and its greater importance to companies than Ultrabooks.
    4 - The Cloud Is the Best Investment
  • Prices Remain High

    The average Ultrabook price is still considerably higher than a comparably equipped notebook. In fact, most companies would be lucky to get a newer Ultrabook for less than $800 or $900. That's a huge issue for the enterprise.
    5 - Prices Remain High
  • Windows 8 Is Flawed

    Thanks to its close partnership with Microsoft, Intel has optimized Ultrabooks to work with Windows 8. If that operating system was more appealing to enterprise customers, that capability would be a good thing. Unfortunately, Windows 8 is deeply flawed and the enterprise is staying away. That means Ultrabooks might not be the average company's best bet.
    6 - Windows 8 Is Flawed
  • Mobility, to a Point

    It's clear that Ultrabooks were designed to be mobile companions for busy people. However, the devices, while nice and thin, aren't nearly as mobile as those of their tablet competitors. And when comparing them to Apple's MacBook Air, there's hardly a comparison that can be drawn. Mobility is certainly improved with Ultrabooks, but it's not a major upgrade.
    7 - Mobility, to a Point
  • Improvements Are Coming

    According to Intel, late-2013 and early 2014 will be an important window for Ultrabooks. During that period, the company expects vendors to start bringing prices down quickly, and Ultrabooks will come with some enhancements to battery life and power that could make them more appealing. Until then, IT shouldn't invest in Ultrabooks.
    8 - Improvements Are Coming
  • Notebooks Are Still Close

    The interesting thing about the mobile space is that Ultrabooks aren't nearly as different from lightweight notebooks as Intel would have customers believe. Today's mobile notebooks are lightweight and extremely thin, and come with powerful components. Best of all, they're far less expensive. In other words, notebooks are still great options for companies.
    9 - Notebooks Are Still Close
  • Don't Forget the Macs

    In an earlier slide, the MacBook Air was mentioned. But the device deserves its own slide, considering it's the computer that started Intel's Ultrabook plans. More importantly, it's the computer that the IT side would consider as an alternative to Ultrabooks. Perhaps most importantly, the device is high-powered, well-built, and at $999, in line with Ultrabook pricing.
    10 - Don't Forget the Macs
  • Are They Truly Corporate-Focused?

    The enterprise must ask itself a question: Are Ultrabooks truly designed for the corporate world? Judging by the marketing, the vendor designs and Intel's own admissions, it appears that Ultrabooks are designed for consumers first. And in a corporate world where productivity matters, consumer-focused products just don't hold up.
    11 - Are They Truly Corporate-Focused?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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