Intel's Ultrabook struggling plan to battle Apple MacBook Air

 Data Center, Apple, Intel

Ceci n'est pas un Macbook Air

Source: dailylifeofmojo/Flickr

Intel released design specifications for a "MacAir" killer last spring, and have been trying to convince hardware manufacturers to jump onboard. One way? A $300 million fund to help vendors get rolling making a small light laptop for under $1,000 to fight tablet sales growth.

Does that sound like a MacBook Air? Absolutely. Doesn't Intel make the CPU chip for the MacBook Air? Correct again. Does Intel make the CPU chip for most tablets? Oops. Hence one reason behind this big push for the Ultrabook.

Unfortunately, vendors aren't putting enough chips on their Unltrabook bet. Vendors are "testing the water" with fairly low planned production runs, according to AppleInsider and others. Are the vendors not sure of the form factor? Worried about cannibalizing their other laptop sales? Or still scared of the economy?

Still can't beat Apple

Frankly, I'm not sure if PC buyers will make this a viable category. It may end up being like the iPad/non-iPad conundrum where buyers will pay a thousand bucks for a MacBook Air, but won't pay more than five hundred or six for a similar Windows PC. The HP TouchPad showed that the marketplace accepts the iPad at one price point and everything else is devalued.
cyaldes1831 on appleinsider.com

Intel is aiming at where Apple is now. When Intel arrives there, Apple will have moved on. Don't build what I want, build what I'm going to want a year after I buy it a year from now.
ctdonath on news.ycombinator.com

I totally get your frustration trying to find something like the Air. I just gave up and ended up getting one.
hantu13@gmail.com on arstechnica.com

Forget this Ultrabook nonsense. Played with the latest MacBook Air 13" at the Apple Store today. It really is the best 13" laptop out there. Quite snappy.
nvidia2008 on appleinsider.com

Ready for an Ultrabook

I want an ultrabook because a Mac does not mesh with my rough and tumble treatment of laptops.
fower on arstechnica.com

Although I'm a MacBook Air owner (typing on it right now), I have no undying loyalty to Apple. Most of my HD is partitioned to run Windows and my desktop is a Windows-running-PC-gaming behemoth. I'm in the military and small/thin is incredibly important with the traveling I do. As soon as someone comes up with a Windows alternative, I'll gladly jump on board.
skreba on arstechnica.com

Market issues

They are all gonna have to compete on price. Most people don't plan to spend $1000 on any laptop. Apple rules the $1000 & up category... yet Macs are a tiny percentage of computer purchases. That says: people don't spend that much for a computer.
Michael Scrip on arstechnica.com

if the PC makers want to make a successful air replacement, they have to realize that apple makes their designs clean and small by sacrificing things. you can't support all the legacy PC hardware all the time.
notatoad on news.ycombinator.com

Unfortunately I have yet to see a decent alternative that matches or beats the Air.
MAFIAAfire on arstechnica.com

Would you buy an Ultrabook rather than a tablet if it was small and light enough? Would it need a touchscreen to grab your dollars?

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