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New Ultrabooks still viewed as 'too pricey' next to Apple's MacBook Air

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
The latest batch of Windows-based Ultrabook PCs will not undercut Apple's ultraportable MacBook Air enough on price to win away most consumers, according to a new analysis.

Brian J. White of Topeka Capital Markets is at the Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan, this week, where he got a closer look at some of the next-generation lineup of computers based on Intel's thin-and-light Ultrabook specification. He didn't come away impressed.

"Our checks thus far indicate that the price points for the new releases will be well over the $699 price threshold that we deem necessary for this new category to be a big success," White wrote in a note to investors.

Shown off at Computex was a new Gigabyte-branded Ultrabook that has an 11-inch screen and a carbon fiber exterior. It will launch in July for a price point of between $999 and $1,299.

Acer and Asustek also showed off what White said are "attractive" Ultrabook models. Again, though, he believes price will be an issue for those notebooks looking to compete with Apple's MacBook Air.

"In our view, if consumers are not getting a significant discount for a Windows-based Ultrabook, they will simply opt for the best and pay $999 for Apple's... MacBook Air," he said.

MacBook Air


Intel's Ultrabook specification was inspired by the success of Apple's MacBook Air, which relies entirely on solid-state storage and lacks an optical drive to offer both a super-thin design and long battery life. Apple is expected to soon update its MacBook Air lineup with Intel's latest-generation ultra-low voltage Ivy Bridge processors.

This week White also attended the Microsoft Forum 2012 keynote address at Computex, which focused on the launch of Windows 8 this October. In that presentation, Microsoft described Windows 8 as a "platform of ecosystems" rather than the "separate ecosystems" that are available under Windows 7.

"The look, feel and functionality of Windows 8 is certainly an upgrade from Windows 7 and should be a successful launch this October," White said. "However, we still believe the Apple digital grid (or ecosystem) remains the most closely integrated and intuitive in the world."

At the start of his trip, White received word from sources in Apple's supply chain that the company is gearing up for an "exciting" month of September. He sees Apple launching both its next-generation iPhone and a smaller, 7.85-inch iPad in that month.

In particular, White believes a so-called "iPad mini," featuring a smaller form factor and lower price, could be a big hit for Apple in the education market, where both institutions and students might be looking for a more portable and affordable iPad.
post #2 of 46
There is an ultra book (i think dell) with an i5 and 13.3" in the best but ad this week for $799. I wouldn't buy it- but almost 40% less- that's a pretty significant discount. Not sure what the thread is talkin about. Windows PCs go on sale all the time (mainly due to necessity)- so one could get discounts easily. $799 isn't bad at all- if you HAD to go PC for whatever reason.

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post #3 of 46

"iPad Mini" = iPod Touch. I've been saying that for a while.

 

Also, I placed an order for an Air for work late last week. I just got a notice from Apple today that shipping will be delayed until the 13th. Woo.

post #4 of 46

JB HiFi and Dick Smiths (discount electronics stores in Oz) display the Macs on one table and the PCs on a couple of others. My observations (FWTW) over a few visits lately is that people are not looking at the ultrabooks (which are discounted far more than the MBAs). I've only seen sales of the old fashioned PC crap for around $400 to $600 and couple of MBAs and a MBPro (the one I talked my sister into buying).

 

--

Written on the best computer I've ever owned, a 13" MBA!

post #5 of 46

A lot of people are used to and like Windows, these people aren't as willing to take the dive into a OSX machine, especially if they have to sacrifice some of the apps they use daily.

post #6 of 46
IMHO the Wintel client base (consumer that is) is made up mostly of those wanting to pay as little as possible for what they perceive as a lot. Now Apple has such buying might on parts they simply can't be undercut on a specification matched product built to anywhere near the same standard. You've only got to look at the laptops in Best Buy or wherever and notice the specs on inexpensive machines ... intel i3s no less. Basically the days are over when Apple products are pricey when you actually look at what you are getting.
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post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaren View Post

"iPad Mini" = iPod Touch. I've been saying that for a while.

Also, I placed an order for an Air for work late last week. I just got a notice from Apple today that shipping will be delayed until the 13th. Woo.

Woo as in I want it now or Woo as in, hmm, they might release a new model next week, show it at WWDC and ship the latest to you. I think the latter, as they are in stock and if you've ordered late last week than this is a weird long time for them to ship - whatever version.
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

IMHO the Wintel client base (consumer that is) is made up mostly of those wanting to pay as little as possible for what they perceive as a lot. Now Apple has such buying might on parts they simply can't be undercut on a specification matched product built to anywhere near the same standard. You've only got to look at the laptops in Best Buy or wherever and notice the specs on inexpensive machines ... intel i3s no less. Basically the days are over when Apple products are pricey when you actually look at what you are getting.

Fully agree. Funny how the PC market neglected the $ 1799 air when it was released Jan 30, 2008 and the more Apple sold the more price cuts it got. Now at $ 999 and Apple has the luxury of making it up in volume, whilst the PC industry is trying to tick off checkboxes.
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post #8 of 46

Maybe, just maybe, people are finally figuring out the old adage, "you get what you pay for", when it comes to "cheap" laptops/computers/phones/tablets.  It's not just about the piece of hardware, but the software, the integration with other pieces of hardware (smartphones, tablets) and the overall user experience.

 

It's how I've always looked at Apple and this thinking has spilled over to other products I use.  I get the sense that this is becoming true for more and more people.  We all want to spend the least amount of money possible for any particular product, but if you spend X dollars on a product that either fails within a year or costs you extra to make it work the way you want/need, then it's just not turning out to be the smart buy.

 

The issue I see with every manufacturer trying to compete against the Air's is that they're trying to compete against the Air's.  What ever happened to coming up with something new, different, better?  And it really needs to be all three - new, different and better.  Not just different for different's sake, which seems to be how many of these players are going about their product development.  Granted, there is only so much you can do to be new, different and better, but I think that if any company wants to make a significant in-road against Apple, it's critical they look differently at how they do things.

post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Maybe, just maybe, people are finally figuring out the old adage, "you get what you pay for", when it comes to "cheap" laptops/computers/phones/tablets.  It's not just about the piece of hardware, but the software, the integration with other pieces of hardware (smartphones, tablets) and the overall user experience.

There was a time that when yo did a cost analysis and looked at the benefits of using MacOS vs using Windows, unless you were a graphics professional it made much more sense to go the Windows route than investing in the Apple universe.

 

Apple is still a little more expensive in some areas for comparable hardware (MBP type gear), but a little cheaper in others (MBA style Ultrabooks). Unless you are a gamer (and while a Mac can play games quite nicely and an increasing number of games are also released to run natively under OSX) that cost benefit gap has closed right up.

 

Why are gamers different? To be honest they aren't much different to people doing video production even at a consumer level, but the options for video cards in the PC world is much greater, and the ability to tweak the maximum FPS out of a FPS (dont you love it when acronyms are the same but mean different things?) on a budget is higher ... but even that gap is closing.

 

Unfortunately the idea of the "Apple Tax" is outdated, but still pervasive.

 

Can i have my new MBP now?

post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrra View Post

A lot of people are used to and like Windows, these people aren't as willing to take the dive into a OSX machine, especially if they have to sacrifice some of the apps they use daily.

Which is why when MS drops the ball that Apple needs to use that negligence to their advantage. People had to buy new apps when Windows were shipping as 64 bit and now people who buy an ARM based tablet or notebook will have to do the same. Vista caused a lot of people to question their next "PC" purchase and I think Win8 is failing into that same category. Metro, as nice as it is for MS, will be unsettling to many casual users. It might advance iPad purchases more than Mac purchases but I think it will hurt Windows-based PC sales over the next year.

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post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrra View Post

A lot of people are used to and like Windows, these people aren't as willing to take the dive into a OSX machine, especially if they have to sacrifice some of the apps they use daily.

 

True. And for those types of folks nothing is going to make them want to switch even if the Air is cheaper. It's the same game as those that are die hard Mac users. Put them in front of a Windows machine and they practically get hives. 

 

Personally I think that these Ultrabooks are aimed more at those folks than the general user. Which is why no one is making a major effort to reduce the prices. Die hards are more than willing to pay for the perceived value of the item at a much higher range than the common user.

 

It's like electronic books. Pricing a bodice ripper the same is a no go because the electronic version has no perceived value to justify the price. But the electronic version of a textbook. Even without all the ibooks fancy stuff that Apple put in there, just being able to give every kid a clean unmolested copy  of the book is a huge perceived value that can be seen as justifying paying the same price. 

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post #12 of 46
well at least this ultrabook format has been discounted (IMO) when sold to universities( u of waterloo).
I say this because my brother got the ultrabook " to use" because he was presenting at a conference in Israel...
(my first thought when he told me that he received an ultrabook was why not a macbook air... but the software he has to run was not not on an airbook and i assume dual-booting was not in the cards. BTW the software was a pain to install on the ultrabook.
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrra View Post

A lot of people are used to and like Windows...

 

A lot of people are used to and like Windows.

 

And I agree, that alone is enough for a lot of people to stay with Windows.

post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

There is an ultra book (i think dell) with an i5 and 13.3" in the best but ad this week for $799. I wouldn't buy it- but almost 40% less- that's a pretty significant discount. Not sure what the thread is talkin about. Windows PCs go on sale all the time (mainly due to necessity)- so one could get discounts easily. $799 isn't bad at all- if you HAD to go PC for whatever reason.

They're talking about comparable machines. One can always find cheaper machines that aren't equal in either build quality or internals. One of the problems third parties have expressed it that they can't make a comparable machine with a machined case as Apple has. They're going to cheaper materials instead, and that's noticeable, according to several hands on reports. They're also going to cheaper displays, slower processors, etc.
post #15 of 46

I was about to start my post with "What dumbazz would pay the same amount of money for Ultrabook, as they could pay for a Macbook Air".

 

And while I still dont feel much differently from that point, I have to understand all of us are individuals and have different needs/wants/likes.  And that many people simply dont know any better (i.e. they have never used a Macbook).  As others have said, there are those who use Windows and want to use nothing else.  And while I love my Macbook to death, OSX is only half of the equation.  Being a person that buys a new laptop pretty much every year, I was pleasantly surprised when I finally made the leap from the Dell-HP-Gateway-Acer-Toshibas of the world.. to my first Macbook in 2010.  And it was the ability to dual-boot Windows and OSX that finally got me to the jump the ship.  Like many I was put off by the price of the Mac, but EVEN IF I was a Windows-only guy.  Now that I know better.. I'd still buy Macbooks for their superior hardware design, features & build quality.

 

About 6 months before I bought my first Mac, I'd bought an $700 HP laptop that looked like an MBP.  Smart Me (atleast I thought so at the time).  I had the Macbook look, but with the HP price.  Thats until I used the damn thing.  And here were my complaints:

Screen sucked.  Brightness control Sucked.  Trackpad really really really sucked.  (Seriously.. HP's have the worst trackpad I've ever used.  Speakers sucked. (They were so quiet, I had to hold my ear to laptop with the volume up to hear clearly).  The laptop got ridiculously hot and the fans were blaring almost all the time.  Way too many flashing lights, unnecessary ports, stickers over it (looked like a race car, instead of a notebook).  It was thick & heavy.  The battery lasted about 3 hours max.  The charger was big & bulky.  

 

I could go on & on but you get the point.  After getting a 2010 MBP 13", heres what I noticed almost immediately (keep in mind, this is just hardware diff.. not talking about OSX):

* It was thin & lightweight!!  I immediately fell in love with the sleek, contemporary design.  The screen hinge was incredibly strong & stable.  It remained that way for the entire year I owned it.

* I loved the trayless DVD burner.  Why would anyone go back to using a tray, after this experience.  Nothing to break and a much more classy design.

* The magnetic power connector is a god-send.  I cannot tell you many connectors or power ports I have ruined, simply because I've tripped over the cable or mishandled the notebook.  So many have broken or developed a wiggle/short due to my abuse.  It also has a tiny led that is green when the laptop is charged up, and orange when charging.  No more guessing when the battery is at 100%, or needing to open the lid and check the software to see when its charged up.

* It ran cool & calm.  OMG.. I could actually sit this thing on my lap and use it without bbq-ing my legs.  I could never do that in the past.  This was my first real "lap-top" computer!!

* The Apple keyboard & trackpad are the best in the mobile computing business.  This isnt an opinion.  Its a fact.  Look at how every other company has copied the chick-let keyboard and simple keyboard layout.  The glass trackpad is a smooth as can be.  Im telling you it gets no better than this!

* No blinking spaceship lights.  No stupid NASCAR stickers all the computer.  And only the ports you use most.  When is the last time you have used a serial, parallel, PCI-card or VGA port?  When is the last time you've hooked up 4 USB devices to your computer?

* The buttons to adjust the screen & keyboard work from 0 to 100%.  Do you know how awesome it is, to have the computer on.. but instantly turn the screen and/or backlight keyboard light COMPLETELY off?  To save battery.  Or in a dark room.

* The aluminum unibody doesnt flex.  I just cant even put into words how this makes the laptop feel like a tank.  Think of it like this.  Ride in a S class Mercedes, then ride in a Honda Civic.  The Macbook felt as solid as a Mercedes.  Plastic laptops or non-unibody laptops feel like a Honda Civic.  You get my point?

 

 

I'm sure theres some shyt I forgot to right.  But even if Im using Windows only.  I will take the Apple built laptop ANYDAY over a competitors laptop.  Its simply built better, lighter, cooler, and quieter.

 

People also look it wrong.  People go to buy a laptop and say.. "Hey.. I can get this Dell for $200 cheaper than this comparable Macbook".  Im sorry but if you will use the computer everyday, like I do, its the wrong way to look at it.  This is a device you will be using almost daily for next 1-3 years.  Break that $200 down, per day on a 2 year basis.  Is it really worth saving 27 cents a day.. to deal with the shyt above that I wrote with.  27 cents?  Talk to me in a year and let me know how that 27 cents a day savings worked out.


Edited by Daekwan - 6/6/12 at 8:14am
post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrra View Post

A lot of people are used to and like Windows, these people aren't as willing to take the dive into a OSX machine, especially if they have to sacrifice some of the apps they use daily.

That will always be true. But Apple has the advantage of having a small marketshare. They aren't interested in that 92% that Microsoft still has, though it's shrinking. So if Apple can pick up another 6% worldwide, over the next three or four years, they will still be at 12%. That means that many Windows users don't have to move to Apple for them to continue their great success in growing Mac sales, which have outgrown Windows computer sales for more than 24 consecutive quarters.

So Apple doesn't need those who are so happy with Windows for whatever reason, that they don't want to switch. But Microsoft has to worry about it, as they are the company losing customers and marketshare.

The other problem for Microsoft OEM's is that Apple's Mac sales take 90% of the $1,000 and above computer sales (not including servers and workstations, or course). That is the most profitable portion of computer sales.

We now see that the laughed at all in one iMac has made a new category of computer which is now the most popular of all desktops among all computer manufacturers. So most manufacturers have a line of all in ones, which top their desktop sales.

This is why they are trying to duplicate the Air with the Ultrabook. They see another new category from apple which has become popular. But they're confused about it. They want the higher pricing they think they can get over the now $350 to $600 that most new notebooks sell for, but they want it cheaper than Apple's Air, so they'll have a competitive advantage. The problem is that they need higher priced computers so that they can maintain some decent profitability, But they know that if they are priced the same or higher as Apple's products, people will just buy an Apple product.

A problem for them is that now, moving off their OS is easier than ever, and more people are doing it. Apple products are no longer for the "fanboy".

They're stuck between a rock and a hard place.
post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


They're talking about comparable machines. One can always find cheaper machines that aren't equal in either build quality or internals. One of the problems third parties have expressed it that they can't make a comparable machine with a machined case as Apple has. They're going to cheaper materials instead, and that's noticeable, according to several hands on reports. They're also going to cheaper displays, slower processors, etc.

Asus used an IPS display in one of theirs. That's something that would be a nice improvement, even if they aren't bad at all for TN displays. I think enough people would notice, and smaller IPS panels should be cheap enough compared to a few years ago. 

post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by haar View Post

well at least this ultrabook format has been discounted (IMO) when sold to universities( u of waterloo).
I say this because my brother got the ultrabook " to use" because he was presenting at a conference in Israel...
(my first thought when he told me that he received an ultrabook was why not a macbook air... but the software he has to run was not not on an airbook and i assume dual-booting was not in the cards. BTW the software was a pain to install on the ultrabook.

Just for reference: the latest CS Chem3D (for quantum mechanical calculations on molecules but on Windas only) opens on the MBA in 15 seconds, including starting VMware, a Win7 virtual machine, and Chem3D.  Having Win7 on board also allows access to Publisher and Access files but apart from that.. The practical speed or nimbleness of the MBA is astonishing even for Windows programs. 

post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokenuser View Post

There was a time that when yo did a cost analysis and looked at the benefits of using MacOS vs using Windows, unless you were a graphics professional it made much more sense to go the Windows route than investing in the Apple universe.

Apple is still a little more expensive in some areas for comparable hardware (MBP type gear), but a little cheaper in others (MBA style Ultrabooks). Unless you are a gamer (and while a Mac can play games quite nicely and an increasing number of games are also released to run natively under OSX) that cost benefit gap has closed right up.

Why are gamers different? To be honest they aren't much different to people doing video production even at a consumer level, but the options for video cards in the PC world is much greater, and the ability to tweak the maximum FPS out of a FPS (dont you love it when acronyms are the same but mean different things?) on a budget is higher ... but even that gap is closing.

Unfortunately the idea of the "Apple Tax" is outdated, but still pervasive.

Can i have my new MBP now?

Actually, since the days of the old Macs and PC DOS machines through the present, IDC and other companies have made the cost analysis a yearly thing. Always, always, a company using Macs had a higher ROI than one using Microsoft burdened machines. Even in a mixed environment, the numbers say that it's cheaper the more Macs a company has relative to Windows machines.

The upfront costs of something rarely reflect the actual costs over time.
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Asus used an IPS display in one of theirs. That's something that would be a nice improvement, even if they aren't bad at all for TN displays. I think enough people would notice, and smaller IPS panels should be cheap enough compared to a few years ago. 

The problem is that TN displays will always be cheaper. As they bring the price of these machines down, their profitability disappears. This is what they're worried about. It's why they tried to get Intel to cut the cost of the chips by half (Intel refused). Apple has such good supply lines, curtesy of Tim Cook, that they get better pricing. Even with the higher cost of the machined cases, Apple manages to bring the price to a reasonable level.

Then, Apple no doubt, gets better pricing on one of the most expensive components, which is the SSD that comes standard in the base machines. In addition, Apple isn't forced to use some legacy ports that Windows machines must have. That gives them a pricing advantage as well. And of course, Apple is using Thunderbolt. Other manufacturers are just now beginning to look at that.
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrra View Post

A lot of people are used to and like Windows, these people aren't as willing to take the dive into a OSX machine, especially if they have to sacrifice some of the apps they use daily.


Indeed, that quote about users "going for the best" to buy an Apple over a Win machine was pretty biased.  Windows 7 is pretty capable, and developing for MS Access is simplicity itself.

post #22 of 46

Having taken a look at many of these new machines, my belief is that many of the PC manufacturers still don't get it. 

 

Also, MacBook's TN displays are arguably second only to the Lenovo X220's IPS display in terms of viewing angles, though I like the colour quality in the MacBook better. 

post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrra View Post

A lot of people are used to and like Windows, these people aren't as willing to take the dive into a OSX machine, especially if they have to sacrifice some of the apps they use daily.

Yeah, but with bootcamp or Parallels, you can continue to run Windows on superior hardware, even if you are unwilling to dive into OSX.

post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

Yeah, but with bootcamp or Parallels, you can continue to run Windows on superior hardware, even if you are unwilling to dive into OSX.

That's been shown to be the way a fair amount of Windows people are making the switch. They get a Mac, install Windows in one of the various ways, or use Crossfire for the few programs they really need, and then, over time, transition completely over, except for perhaps one program or so that's never really made it, such as Quicken. I know a number of people who use Windows on their Mac just for that.
post #25 of 46

Windows honks always touted how expensive Mac's were and now they want to sell knock-offs that are the same price or more.  Just wait until they start stuffing those faux luxury PC boxes with the Windows 8 Metro Desktop UI kluge; to quote Dvorak, an unmitigated disaster that make your teeth itch.  I'm not sure about my teeth itching but in using in on my old Dell, it's jaw dropping lunacy.  If Windows 8 is released without substantial changes, I predict a bonanza for Mac sale down the road. 

post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Which is why when MS drops the ball that Apple needs to use that negligence to their advantage. People had to buy new apps when Windows were shipping as 64 bit and now people who buy an ARM based tablet or notebook will have to do the same. Vista caused a lot of people to question their next "PC" purchase and I think Win8 is failing into that same category. Metro, as nice as it is for MS, will be unsettling to many casual users. It might advance iPad purchases more than Mac purchases but I think it will hurt Windows-based PC sales over the next year.

Very few people had issues with the transition to 64-bit windows.  The only problems tended to be drivers that didn't get updated for Vista and Win7.  All 32-bit apps are supported on 64-bit windows without an issue.

 

Vista caused a lot of issues because MS changed the driver architecture a year before release, which didn't give all the hardware vendors time to update their drivers.  So Vista launched and lots of hardware didn't work due to missing drivers (or poorly implemented drivers).  This was a huge mistake for MS, but something they have been more careful about.

post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokenuser View Post

There was a time that when yo did a cost analysis and looked at the benefits of using MacOS vs using Windows, unless you were a graphics professional it made much more sense to go the Windows route than investing in the Apple universe.

That's a misconception. People who did a cost analysis almost always find that Macs were cheaper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Our checks thus far indicate that the price points for the new releases will be well over the $699 price threshold that we deem necessary for this new category to be a big success," White wrote in a note to investors.

Actually, I'd really like for the $799 MBA rumor to be true. If Apple updates the MBA and keeps the current 11" MBA at $799, it will really slam the door on Ultrabooks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrra View Post

Very few people had issues with the transition to 64-bit windows.  The only problems tended to be drivers that didn't get updated for Vista and Win7.  All 32-bit apps are supported on 64-bit windows without an issue.

Which planet are you referring to? I know a lot of people who had all sorts of problems. In fact, most of them gave up and simply installed the 32 bit version because of driver and software issues.
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post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dona83 View Post

Having taken a look at many of these new machines, my belief is that many of the PC manufacturers still don't get it. 

 

Also, MacBook's TN displays are arguably second only to the Lenovo X220's IPS display in terms of viewing angles, though I like the colour quality in the MacBook better. 

I've looked at them. They aren't bad. IPS would still be a nice upgrade if implemented well. HP's IPS option is really nice, but it's expensive and their computers often have other issues. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


The problem is that TN displays will always be cheaper. As they bring the price of these machines down, their profitability disappears. This is what they're worried about. It's why they tried to get Intel to cut the cost of the chips by half (Intel refused). Apple has such good supply lines, curtesy of Tim Cook, that they get better pricing. Even with the higher cost of the machined cases, Apple manages to bring the price to a reasonable level.
Then, Apple no doubt, gets better pricing on one of the most expensive components, which is the SSD that comes standard in the base machines. In addition, Apple isn't forced to use some legacy ports that Windows machines must have. That gives them a pricing advantage as well. And of course, Apple is using Thunderbolt. Other manufacturers are just now beginning to look at that.

Apple doesn't really address the lowest pricing tiers, so it shouldn't always be what is cheapest. I could see the use of IPS in lieu of other things on their top 13" Air and some of the macbook pros. Where did you find the information on Intel? I'm also wondering how expensive those ssds really are to Apple. In the base machine they're only using a 64GB. 

post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


That's been shown to be the way a fair amount of Windows people are making the switch. They get a Mac, install Windows in one of the various ways, or use Crossfire for the few programs they really need, and then, over time, transition completely over, except for perhaps one program or so that's never really made it, such as Quicken. I know a number of people who use Windows on their Mac just for that.


That's what I use my Vmware/Win7 for.  Strictly Quicken/Quickbooks and some PC-only software dev tools.  I've converted quite a few people to Macs and even with the commercials back in the day about Macs running windows, people still don't realize that Macs do run Windows.

One small barrier is that to run Windows, you still need to purchase VMware and a Win7 CD which adds a couple hundred dollars.  I've had people hesitate due to that but in the end, they were glad they did it.

Being able to restore Windows from a VM image is golden as well and minimizes my support when Windows takes its occasional dump.

post #30 of 46

If it doesn't have an SSD in it it's not an Ultrabook in my opinion. Anyone with an SSD drive would never go back.

 

How is $799? I'm sure the trackpad is shit, no backlit keyboard, magsafe power adapter, no thunderbolt, tons of crapware and a lower quality screen I'm sure.

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

There is an ultra book (i think dell) with an i5 and 13.3" in the best but ad this week for $799. I wouldn't buy it- but almost 40% less- that's a pretty significant discount. Not sure what the thread is talkin about. Windows PCs go on sale all the time (mainly due to necessity)- so one could get discounts easily. $799 isn't bad at all- if you HAD to go PC for whatever reason.

 

 

If it doesn't have an SSD in it it's not an Ultrabook in my opinion. Anyone with an SSD drive would never go back.

 

How is $799? I'm sure the trackpad is shit, no backlit keyboard, magsafe power adapter, no thunderbolt, tons of crapware and a lower quality screen I'm sure.

post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"In our view, if consumers are not getting a significant discount for a Windows-based Ultrabook, they will simply opt for the best and pay $999 for Apple's... MacBook Air," he said.
 

 

Because no matter how nice an Ultrabook's hardware is, it still runs Windows.  The lowest common denominator.  Microsoft has spent decades cultivating the "cheaper is *always* better" mentality among Wintel box buyers.  They've repeated the cheapness mantra over and over again, until the Wintel users of the world began to believe it: You can and will settle for less because hey, it's cheaper than a Mac.  And now Microsoft and their hardware drones are completely incapable of escaping that infamous race to the bottom.  (Oh, and as we all know, MacBook Air runs OS X *and* Windows, if users really need to run Windows any more.)

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"However, we still believe the Apple digital grid (or ecosystem) remains the most closely integrated and intuitive in the world."

 

 

And how long did it take Apple to get there?  Roughly ten long years.  A decade of relentless refinement, re-design, and the occasional very painful stubbed toe.  Ever since iTunes was first released in 2001.  Remember "Rip. Mix. Burn."?  Well not long after that, Apple released the first iPod, and they've never looked back.  Meanwhile, Microsoft gained zero ecosystem equity from the Danger acquisition and learned nothing about building their own ecosystem (other than what *not* to do) from the KIN debacle.  And now Ballmer is mumbling about a Windows 8 "platform of ecosystems" to replace the "separate ecosystems" of Windows 7.  Can you say "mash-up"?

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In particular, White believes a so-called "iPad mini," featuring a smaller form factor and lower price, could be a big hit for Apple in the education market, where both institutions and students might be looking for a more portable and affordable iPad.

 

 

Far less incentive for Apple to release an iPad mini now that Kindle Fire sales are tanking.  The small form factor might be one reason for that decline.  7" - 8" pads are still too big to fit in a pocket (especially a kid-sized pocket), and they're at the bottom end of the usability spectrum in terms of screen size.  The worst of both worlds.  The only advantage to end-users would be the low price.  Which Apple can achieve through other means.

 

Instead of building a smaller iPad, Apple could instead do what they do with iPhone.  Sell the older models at a steep discount.  Next year, Apple could drop the price of the low-end model 2011 3rd-gen iPad to $399.  And in 2014 Apple could drop the price of that model to $299. All-Retina, all 9.7", starting at $299 brand new.  Or, Apple could revive the iPad 2 with its original screen resolution, sell that for $299 next year along with the $399 2012 and $499+ 2013 iPad models.

 

Oh, and the "more portable" argument for an educational iPad mini is completely illogical.  Kids are forced to wheel luggage around filled with books now.  A full-sized iPad is a featherweight compared to all that.  And how much does the average textbook weigh?  Probably more than 1.44 pounds, the weight of the 3rd-gen iPad.

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post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


That's what I use my Vmware/Win7 for.  Strictly Quicken/Quickbooks and some PC-only software dev tools.  I've converted quite a few people to Macs and even with the commercials back in the day about Macs running windows, people still don't realize that Macs do run Windows.

PC-only.

 

Important term, and one reason why people don't think of Apple hardware running Windows. A Mac is a PC. The term PC is generic. 

 

I think what you mean to say is "some Windows only software development tools" and follow that up with "that will not run natively under OSX, but can be virtualised".

 

By necessity I run Visio, Project, and Lync "virtually" ... but they launch from my dock as if they were native.

More people need to know that capability exists ... you are "running Windows" but for all intents and purposes the programs are behaving as if they were native.

post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Maybe, just maybe, people are finally figuring out the old adage, "you get what you pay for", when it comes to "cheap" laptops/computers/phones/tablets.  It's not just about the piece of hardware, but the software, the integration with other pieces of hardware (smartphones, tablets) and the overall user experience.

 

It's how I've always looked at Apple and this thinking has spilled over to other products I use.  I get the sense that this is becoming true for more and more people.  We all want to spend the least amount of money possible for any particular product, but if you spend X dollars on a product that either fails within a year or costs you extra to make it work the way you want/need, then it's just not turning out to be the smart buy.

 

The issue I see with every manufacturer trying to compete against the Air's is that they're trying to compete against the Air's.  What ever happened to coming up with something new, different, better?  And it really needs to be all three - new, different and better.  Not just different for different's sake, which seems to be how many of these players are going about their product development.  Granted, there is only so much you can do to be new, different and better, but I think that if any company wants to make a significant in-road against Apple, it's critical they look differently at how they do things.

 

Last night, my grandson asked if I would buy him an inexpensive Windows laptop because a game he wants is not available on the Mac or his iPad.

 

I refused, because the household is totally Windows free  -- yeah!

 

 

I told him no I wouldn't do it!  I suggested that he ask his dad to buy and maintain it for him.   His dad has a Windows laptop provided by his work.   He convinced his son with this:

 

"You do realize that it takes 15-20 minutes for my Windows laptop to startup...before I can do anything."

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post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

 

 

I told him no I wouldn't do it!  I suggested that he ask his dad to buy and maintain it for him.   His dad has a Windows laptop provided by his work.   He convinced his son with this:

 

"You do realize that it takes 15-20 minutes for my Windows laptop to startup...before I can do anything."

And yet it takes me very little time to get into bootcamp.

post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Last night, my grandson asked if I would buy him an inexpensive Windows laptop because a game he wants is not available on the Mac or his iPad.

I refused, because the household is totally Windows free  -- yeah!


I told him no I wouldn't do it!  I suggested that he ask his dad to buy and maintain it for him.   His dad has a Windows laptop provided by his work.   He convinced his son with this:

"You do realize that it takes 15-20 minutes for my Windows laptop to startup...before I can do anything."

I'd suggest Parallels, Fusion, or VMWare on the Mac. He can run his game without having to buy a new computer.

If it's the latest high speed action game, that might not be suitable. In that case, install Boot Camp on the Mac and it should be fine.
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post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Asus used an IPS display in one of theirs. That's something that would be a nice improvement, even if they aren't bad at all for TN displays. I think enough people would notice, and smaller IPS panels should be cheap enough compared to a few years ago. 

am waiting for the zenbook prime with the IPS display. looked at the previous model at best buy and really liked the build and the way it looked. of course, if i can't run ubuntu on it then i may hold off...

post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

 I'm also wondering how expensive those ssds really are to Apple. In the base machine they're only using a 64GB. 

 

Apple buys the largest bulk of SSDs. They use them in more products then anyone else. From the millions of iPods, iPads, iPhones to the MBAs. No one else comes close to Apple's deals on SSDs. 

 

There is some evidence that Apple has implemented design in their MBAs to increase the life of the SSDs as well, so it becomes even smarter to chose an Apple product based on this one component alone. 

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post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Maybe, just maybe, people are finally figuring out the old adage, "you get what you pay for", when it comes to "cheap" laptops/computers/phones/tablets.  It's not just about the piece of hardware, but the software, the integration with other pieces of hardware (smartphones, tablets) and the overall user experience.

 

It's how I've always looked at Apple and this thinking has spilled over to other products I use.  I get the sense that this is becoming true for more and more people.  We all want to spend the least amount of money possible for any particular product, but if you spend X dollars on a product that either fails within a year or costs you extra to make it work the way you want/need, then it's just not turning out to be the smart buy.

 

The issue I see with every manufacturer trying to compete against the Air's is that they're trying to compete against the Air's.  What ever happened to coming up with something new, different, better?  And it really needs to be all three - new, different and better.  Not just different for different's sake, which seems to be how many of these players are going about their product development.  Granted, there is only so much you can do to be new, different and better, but I think that if any company wants to make a significant in-road against Apple, it's critical they look differently at how they do things.

It takes time to change one's mindset - especially corporate one. Lots of inertia. "Make cheap, sell cheaper" mantra was born out of fierce competition among PC manufacturers that did help in mainstreaming PC, but also caused flood of "low-bred" units on the market.

 

I think it is changing... slowly, but changing. New Asus Zenbook Prime, both 11" and 13", have good quality IPS screens in full HD, as well as Bang & Ollafsen audio. I think they also offer dedicated graphics as an option. Backlit keyboard and long battery, recognisable look (though still based on general Air form). I think these specs are not just following Air, but overdoing it a bit (at least until next-gen is released).

 

Toshiba anoynced 21:9 cinematic wide screen with Toshiba U840W Ultrabook. Don't know hom many users will be attracted by that, but attempt in being different it is.

 

HP has potentially interesting line of Envy Spectre and Spectre XT ultrabooks, as well as AMD based Slimbooks. I'm saying "potential" as it seems they decided to go for cheap TFT panels (and with no information about optional better screen), but they have sweet design, Beats audio and solid bundled software kit (Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, I think).

 

I have noticed infos re Sony Vaio, Acer, Lenovo and other brands Ultrabooks, some first, some second generation for their respective manufacturers... but haven't noticed if they have any distinctive features outside of slim, light, metal, long battery specs Intel has set for Ultrabooks.

 

In addition - it is pretty much given most of them, if not all, will dip down in price quickly, especially if they don't make runaway hit. Which they, considering competition, likely will not.

post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

 

Apple buys the largest bulk of SSDs. They use them in more products then anyone else. From the millions of iPods, iPads, iPhones to the MBAs. No one else comes close to Apple's deals on SSDs. 

 

There is some evidence that Apple has implemented design in their MBAs to increase the life of the SSDs as well, so it becomes even smarter to chose an Apple product based on this one component alone. 

You should learn the difference between the abbreviations "SSD" and "NAND" :P.    

 

I'm not sure what evidence you found. SSDs can go bad either way. Longevity would be good considering the replacement costs of proprietary parts. My point was that for for the typical 2.5" SSDs offered as macbook pro, imac, and mac pro upgrades, they are most likely buying an oem drive rather than raw parts. This means their ipod/iphone/ipad purchases would not grant any leverage here unless such a company also has a foundry that supplies a portion of their other NAND needs.   

Quote:
Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post

am waiting for the zenbook prime with the IPS display. looked at the previous model at best buy and really liked the build and the way it looked. of course, if i can't run ubuntu on it then i may hold off...

I like ubuntu. I'd also like to see Apple move to IPS displays on the macbooks.

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