Acer, Asus slash 'Ultrabook' orders by 40%, struggle against MacBook Air

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 73
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Whether the buyers are motivated by quality or status symbols, Apple has taken total control of the high end of the portable computer market. this lackluster reception of these new Windows copy cat "ultrabooks" proves that beyond any doubt.



    and adding Windows 8/Mango eye candy a year or more from now is not going to change that. Apple will upgrade its hardware and improve its software/cloud next year too. including expanded iOS integration with OS X.



    no matter how much they soup up the hardware, in market perception Asus/Acer = Ford/Chevy. Sony the closest PC OEM = Lincoln/Cadillac, but they are lost and wandering these days, losing their cred (Samsung hopes to take their place). none of them = Lexus/BMW in market perception. but Apple does.
  • Reply 42 of 73
    moxommoxom Posts: 326member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post


    Dang. Initially read this "Acer, Asus slash 'Ultrabook' PRICES by 40%, struggle against MacBook Air." Good thing I wasn't drinking coffee when I did.



    Same here!
  • Reply 43 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mytdave View Post


    So, I think there may be a few things at play here.



    First, the competition is not running MacOS X.



    I think you are over complicating this somewhat. There is 1 thing at play, and backed up by many many statistics over the years:



    1. Apple sell the vast majority of PCs that cost over $1000.



    So for Asus, Acer and anyone else who thinks they can muscle in on a premium market they don't understand was always optimistic at best.
  • Reply 44 of 73
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    It's one thing to not invent something, but as Steve said, when other people have done it already, how stupid do you have to be to not even know what to copy, and what not?
  • Reply 45 of 73
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    The Zenbook looks very nice, but I'm not sure that it is nearly as nice as a Macbook Air.



    Nice machine, though. I'll have to find one to play with.



    Notice the title of the review at Ars. The trackpad is always pointed as one of the nicest features of a MacBook. Sounds like the screen could be better as far as lighting goes (top and bottom half of the screen not similar brightness).



    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/revie...g-trackpad.ars
  • Reply 46 of 73
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post


    I asked why she would pass up cheaper computers for the Apple, and she said that she wanted something that had better value, and that she anticipated owning the MBP for quite a few years.



    We may be entering an era where people will be buying their last computer, or at least a computer that they hope to keep semi-permanently, like you do with a Stove or a TV set.



    If so, buying a high quality item is well worth the extra money. Maybe we will see a gradual evolution away from disposable computers, as=nd towards the higher end of the market?
  • Reply 47 of 73
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    It's one thing to not invent something, but as Steve said, when other people have done it already, how stupid do you have to be to not even know what to copy, and what not?



    I like the Q&A Jobs gave at the 1997 WWDC where he addressed the old Apple slogan of Think Different. Jobs plainly stated, "If we can be much better without being different, that would be fine with me. I want to be much better. I don?t care about being different."



    PS: I wonder where this douche bag is now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF-tKLISfPE
  • Reply 48 of 73
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    Notice the title of the review at Ars. The trackpad is always pointed as one of the nicest features of a MacBook. Sounds like the screen could be better as far as lighting goes (top and bottom half of the screen not similar brightness).



    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/revie...g-trackpad.ars



    Yeah - I saw that. Another review mentioned a driver update that helped calm things down.



    If the Zenbook is indicative of things to come, I'm all for it. But how long until Wireless N is common enough to make up for the lack of ports?
  • Reply 49 of 73
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    Notice the title of the review at Ars. The trackpad is always pointed as one of the nicest features of a MacBook. Sounds like the screen could be better as far as lighting goes (top and bottom half of the screen not similar brightness).



    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/revie...g-trackpad.ars



    These other vendors can never get the trackpad right. I remember when the HP Envy came on the scene with its large, multitouch trackpad with integrated buttons. "It's just like Mac notebooks!" people cried? until they tried to use one. More than a few reviews of the machines noted that you'll need an external mouse to make use of the machine. I think I recall one even saying that's not a big deal because gamers already do that.





    It's been how many years since multi-touch trackpads were available and Synaptic has included basic drivers, yet they still suck. It's arguably one of the key HW/firmware features on any notebook that needs to be great.
  • Reply 50 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mytdave View Post


    So, I think there may be a few things at play here.



    First, the competition is not running MacOS X.



    Second, and it's unfortunate, but due to the world economy, people with less money than others are not spending it. People with more disposable income I think tend to gravitate to higher quality products, therefore buying Macs.



    Third, regardless of income, economy, and other factors, I think a large number of people are done with substandard products. The loss leader cheaply constructed junk just to save a buck isn't selling like it used to. People don't want to waste time and money (even if they have it) replacing items every other year, and so folks are starting to say no to that practice.



    Fourth, the typical PC user (and big box store salespeople) are all about specifications. GHz, MB, TB, "blu-ray", HDMI, whatever... I'm guessing that most of them don't understand the ultra thin form factor.



    The Zenbook doesn't look like it's cheaply made, but I haven't seen one in person. Of course it's also running Windows, so there's one strike against it. But, they need to be patient; things don't usually just 'take off' over night. Even Apple sold very few of the original MacBook Air laptops. Asus and the others are going to have to resist the temptation to 'pump it 'n dump it' if they want to be successful in the ultraportable market.



    Just was helping my brother buy a PC. He cannot afford Mac (although I tried to convince him). So he needs to stay under 900. Try to find 'quality' PC in that price range (let alone higher). We searched reliability etc high and low. JUNK OUT THERE. Ended up with Thinkpad T520 i5, with SSD. for $900. Thinkpads are 'ok' quality, not the rock they once were. Trying to find a 'quality' machine is very difficult
  • Reply 51 of 73
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    Just was helping my brother buy a PC. He cannot afford Mac (although I tried to convince him). So he needs to stay under 900. Try to find 'quality' PC in that price range (let alone higher). We searched reliability etc high and low. JUNK OUT THERE. Ended up with Thinkpad T520 i5, with SSD. for $900. Thinkpads are 'ok' quality, not the rock they once were. Trying to find a 'quality' machine is very difficult



    Did you mention total cost of ownership? If he has to wait a month to save up the extra money it's well worth it in the long run. So far buying iPhones has been a great investment as I can upgrade to the newest model and sell the old one without any cost to myself.
  • Reply 52 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    Just was helping my brother buy a PC. He cannot afford Mac (although I tried to convince him). So he needs to stay under 900. Try to find 'quality' PC in that price range (let alone higher). We searched reliability etc high and low. JUNK OUT THERE. Ended up with Thinkpad T520 i5, with SSD. for $900. Thinkpads are 'ok' quality, not the rock they once were. Trying to find a 'quality' machine is very difficult



    Just gotta know where to look. I know an online / retail location selling new Core 2 Duo based MacBook Air 11" models for $899. PM me if you want the link. I'm not gonna spam the forums. Apple also has some great refurbished deals on their website that come and go daily. Look for it.



    However, if you really want a PC instead of Mac OS, I guess a ThinkPad will do, but they don't make them like they used to. The T series is nice, but the newer ThinkPad Edge models are ThinkPads in name only... What a shame.
  • Reply 53 of 73
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    While Apple products in general may or may not be overpriced, I've not heard that charge made WRT the MBA.



    You might want to get your ears checked, or borrow the wayback machine to revisit the majority of consumer press reviews of the first two generations of the MBA.



    "Overpriced for what you get" was just the lead in...
  • Reply 54 of 73
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member
    Bought a MB Air a month ago and love it!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    a unique OS that's a delightful experience and mostly free from the nasties that plague Windows,



    Unfortunately, I need in my profession to run Windas-only programs (esp. the expensive but essential ChemBio Office suite). The MBA takes just 20 secs to open Windas 7 64 in VMWare and ChemOffice from a cold start - brilliant!
  • Reply 55 of 73
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enzos View Post


    Bought a MB Air a month ago and love it!







    Unfortunately, I need in my profession to run Windas-only programs (esp. the expensive but essential ChemBio Office suite). The MBA takes just 20 secs to open Windas 7 64 in VMWare and ChemOffice from a cold start - brilliant!



    FWIW, I read a recent review that Parallels is considerably faster, so you might be able to reduce that time even more.
  • Reply 56 of 73
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axual View Post


    It appears more and more people are choosing quality over just price. Though some would argue Apple products like the MacBook Air are overpriced, the market would suggest otherwise.



    I'm not sure if you remember the original macbook air. It held a very limited appeal because it didn't really hit the right combination on price, performance, etc. I like the rigidity of these things quite a bit. I'd just like to see them run a bit cooler when fully taxed, and come with enough ram to last more than one OS version. I hate the disposable device mentality.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post


    Dang. Initially read this "Acer, Asus slash 'Ultrabook' PRICES by 40%, struggle against MacBook Air." Good thing I wasn't drinking coffee when I did.



    It's inevitable though. All the pretenders are fighting for market share and profit but chasing Apple to do it. Apple is blazing the trail and dropping a lot of followers in their path. There are a lot of smart, smart people trying but they're no match for the auteur that was Steve Jobs.



    Apple started a lot earlier. It's what happens if you try to ride someone else's success. The other problem here is that these silly manufacturers are just looking at what Apple is doing rather than examining their own customer base. They should look at what people who don't see OSX as an option want. Not all of them simply want cheap hardware.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    Those that make that argument completely miss the point. An Apple product is more than just the hardware alone, though it is great hardware. An Apple product includes $29 OS upgrades, a unique OS that's a delightful experience and mostly free from the nasties that plague Windows, 1st rate customer service, and various other services such as iCloud and such. None of that is present in Ultrabooks, yet they expect to command nearly the same price.



    It's not quite the difference you're suggesting here. OSX has had plenty of persistent bugs too. I think their pricing will become more competitive if any of them stick with it. With Apple their first macbook air generation was much more expensive even if that was partially driven by the cost of SSDs at the time.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    Honestly the 15 and 17" MBP and the Mac Pro are the only areas where Apple's prices feel weak compared to the competition. The Mac Pro really isn't that badly priced compared w/other Xeon workstations. I would really like to buy a 17" MBP next spring, but the price tag really hurts.



    The mac pro pricing isn't very good at all. At the 12 core level it's pretty close to the PC guys but you get about half the hardware features (others have built in esata, native SAS support, more drive bays, etc) without spending a lot extra. At their starting point the pricing is terrible.



    When they first brought out the mac pro, the starting configuration was really pretty basic on workstation features, but it was priced really competitively outside of the high cost of specialized ram (no matter where you purchased it). Since then it's gone in somewhat of a bad direction. Apple needed more people trying out mac pros in place of PC workstations around the time of Windows Vista regardless of what OS they had to use. This would have given them the opportunity to ship these things in better volume.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    FWIW, I read a recent review that Parallels is considerably faster, so you might be able to reduce that time even more.



    Companies like Autodesk actually certify some Windows only products on Parallels. It's not a bad product. If you're using it for anything heavy I'd go for more ram than would be required for OSX alone.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    We may be entering an era where people will be buying their last computer, or at least a computer that they hope to keep semi-permanently, like you do with a Stove or a TV set.



    If so, buying a high quality item is well worth the extra money. Maybe we will see a gradual evolution away from disposable computers, as=nd towards the higher end of the market?



    This really wouldn't be a bad thing. There are some engineering issues to deal with in making this work for mobile devices. People expect to close laptops as soon as they're done working. With as hot as macbook pros can get, this can put quite a bit of stress on the machine. The transition to lower wattage parts should really help there.
  • Reply 57 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post


    I think you are over complicating this somewhat. There is 1 thing at play, and backed up by many many statistics over the years:



    1. Apple sell the vast majority of PCs that cost over $1000.



    So for Asus, Acer and anyone else who thinks they can muscle in on a premium market they don't understand was always optimistic at best.



    I think you hit the nail on the head.



    People are overwhelmingly choosing computers under $1000. The biggest competition for the $999 Zenbook is coming from the likes of the $399 15" Dell with similar specifications.



    The MBA has OSX as a differentiator. Ultrabooks have no such luxury, and it appears people are finding it hard to justify the $600 premium.



    The PC OEM's need to get these prices down before they will start shipping in volume. Maybe not to the $399 level, but at least somewhere in-between like $699.
  • Reply 58 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    Those that make that argument completely miss the point. An Apple product is more than just the hardware alone, though it is great hardware. An Apple product includes $29 OS upgrades, a unique OS that's a delightful experience and mostly free from the nasties that plague Windows, 1st rate customer service, and various other services such as iCloud and such. None of that is present in Ultrabooks, yet they expect to command nearly the same price.



    Not to mention how well iPads, iPod Touches, iPhones, and ATV2 combine with the Macs.



    For example, while I would like my ATV2 to play 1080p videos, it was easy to setup, and my 6 year old uses it to stream movies from iTunes and Netflix.



    Setting up a WD media box at my sisters, and the UI wasn't as clean, and it had some issues with the router.



    Having less headaches is worth it for me.
  • Reply 59 of 73
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KPOM View Post


    To be fair, the ASUS uses identical processors, better speakers, and faster SSDs than the Air, and is $200-$250 less, so they made a good effort. The 13" also has a higher resolution. I think the issue is what others have said in that people expect Windows PCs to be "cheap" and thus are taken aback by a $1000-$1500 notebook, even one with premium parts. Apple has a nice niche with the Mac, and it has a clear differentiator in that it runs a different operating system.



    I think you are right.



    This isn't about ASUS v's Apple but Microsoft v's Apple. As the world becomes more affluent they are spending more money on ICT. Even the less well off are spending a larger percentage of their money on ICT, which makes Apple not a luxury anymore.



    As an avid Android fan, I do not see iPhone 4S, iPad, or the comming Apple TV as a big threat to Android. Big competition - yes, threat - no.



    The biggest threat to Android is Apples growth in iMac and Macbook sales. Everywhere I look, people are changing from windows to apple for their laptops and desktops. Apple have made significant progress in this area over the last few years, and this is just accelerating. Maybe iPhone etc are helping push this a bit, but it will be Apple beating Microsoft in the top end ICT arena that will be Androids biggest threat.
  • Reply 60 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    PS: I wonder where this douche bag is now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF-tKLISfPE



    He's nobody. A critic. A hater. Critics destroy. They criticize, complain, talk, whine. (and troll on forums like this). But they never build anything.



    Steve's answer to the guy's question is right: you can't sell $6-$8 billion in product if you start with the technology and try fit it to the customer experience. You have to start from the customer experience and build technology to achieve that. History shows that Steve followed through with that, and look at where Apple is today. That whiny douchebag who was complaining about Apple abandoning OpenDoc? I think everyone knew OpenDoc was a failure by 1997, and it wasn't going to save Apple from bankruptcy.



    BTW, I hope that guy is still around so he can show his grandkids that YouTube video of gramps being a spiteful, small-minded ant barking at Steve Jobs in 1997.
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