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

1 - Ultrabooks Fail to Make the Grade as a Sound Purchase for Enterprises
2 - It's All About Tablets
3 - Budgets Are Constrained
4 - The Cloud Is the Best Investment
5 - Prices Remain High
6 - Windows 8 Is Flawed
7 - Mobility, to a Point
8 - Improvements Are Coming
9 - Notebooks Are Still Close
10 - Don't Forget the Macs
11 - Are They Truly Corporate-Focused?
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Ultrabooks Fail to Make the Grade as a Sound Purchase for Enterprises

by Don Reisinger

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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