After the constant bombardment at CES last month, it’s hard to deny that Intel’s Ultrabook spec hasn’t hit its stride. And while most are hitting the $1000 mark (for base models, and with a few exceptions) the valuable perks they add in portability and battery life have made them a few fans – including us. Unfortunately, they aren’t likely to budge on the all important sticker price for at least another year: DigiTimes reports that ultrabook hardware suppliers are having a hard time lowering the price of components, and the total cost for the skinny laptops is unlikely to shift significantly until 2013.
The primary culprit is SSD drives, which remain pricey even as traditional hard drives offer greater capacities as lower prices. Solid-state drives continue to offer comparatively huge dollar to gigabyte ratios, and their speed and power advantages are unlikely to win over the consumer market, which tends to focus on raw storage. Thin display panels and expensive metal chassis aren’t helping the situation. Many “premium” ultrabooks are still saddled with relatively high retail prices, like HP’s Envy 14 Spectre, hitting the street on Friday with a price of $1399.
Still, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for those who want power, style and battery life without breaking the bank. Suppliers and vendors claim that many models will land in Q2 just south of the $800 mark, though computer sellers will be making razor-thin margins and will likely push for either upgraded internals or more expensive alternatives. Intel stated at their CES Ultrabook press event that they’re hoping to see the spec lead to significant increases in both computing power and affordability – us too, Intel. Us too.