Are Ultrabooks an epic failure?

Epic failure is a bit strong, but if you’ve been following the Ultrabook PC market, this is fascinating news, even though the maths could well be wrong (I find it hard to believe that only 500,000 Ultrabooks could be sold YTD). There seems to be such a huge number of Ultrabook models everywhere (the MacBook Air’s don’t technically count), from all manufacturers, no shortage of supply, surely there’s more sold than a few % of Intel’s 90M target for 2012.

So, assuming it’s true, what’s the problem? The first, from a consumer’s point of view, is that for the budget-conscious, they can get far more powerful machines for far less money. Performance laptop prices that aren’t constrained by size have plummeted over the last year. The second, and a big factor that I also found myself before settling on an Air – for somebody spending more than the above laptops, everything about a particular model has to be exceptional. From physical form, to performance, to battery, to keyboard, to trackpad. For one reason or another, there hasn’t been an Ultrabook which has combined ALL of the above, and done it cheaper than the comparable Macbook Air.

In short, by the time people open their wallets for an Ultrabook, they realise the MBA’s are better and buy one instead. Hence the surge in MBA sales.

Example, Samsung’s 2012 Series-9 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook, the cream of the Ultrabook crop, is more expensive than the comparable MBA, but yet still has show-stopping flaws (http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/16/3160289/samsung-series-9-review-13-inch-mid-2012). With recent price cuts, the Macbook Air is still the king of the segment for the third year running – now is the time to get on board if you haven’t already. 

If you’re wondering whether the transition from Windows to OSX will be difficult, read my experience here: https://senk9.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/a-journey-from-windows-to-os-x/

“Nonetheless, there are some signs. IDC’s Chou noted that about 500,000 Ultrabooks have been sold worldwide to date, and that number might hit a million by the end of 2012. Given that both IDC and Gartner expect to see about 220 to 230 million notebook computers shipped during 2012, that would mean Ultrabooks would account for less than one half of one percent of worldwide notebook PC shipments in 2012.”

Are Ultrabooks an epic failure?

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