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Acer boss' ultrabook claims appear unrealistic

Claims made by Acer boss Jianren Weng about falling ultrabook prices do not stack up.

As Apple unveils its third-generation iPad, Acer global president Jianren Weng believes that ultrabooks will soon be competing with the tablet devices.

According to The Verge, Mr Wentg told delegates at the CeBIT 2012 conference in Germany that ultrabooks will soon drop to the low price of around $499 (£317) in order to compete directly with the iPad.

This would certainly represent an aggressive strategy, and would surely only increase interest in the already popular ultrabook segment.

However, The Verge has investigated further in a bid to establish whether Mr Weng's claims are achievable or just a bit of PR bragging.

It found from speaking to Christoph Pohlmann of Acer's laptop team that the company's Aspire S3 ultrabook is actually priced as low as it can be already.

He revealed that considering the production costs and the technology that goes into making the speedy ultrabook, the company does not actually make any money on it.

The given retail price of $799 (£508) actually does no more than allow the product to break even.

Mr Pohlmann is said to have told the publication that the S3 is "priced on what is essentially a promotional basis - aiming to attract more converts to the hardware platform and the idea of truly ultraportable computing - which is unlikely to last over the long term".

So Weng could well be planning to sell his ultrabooks at a loss, but it seems unlikely to come to fruition.

The technology involved in ultrabooks only looks set to become more intricate as well, as DigiTimes reported last month that Acer, along with Lenovo and Asustek Computer, are working on touchscreen models to match the capability features of Windows 8.

With this requiring a more intricate design and thicker, more high-tech screens, costs will naturally go up.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801314561-ADNFCR