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

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  • Reply 61 of 73
    Quote:

    Intel's "Ultrabook" class aims to bring "tablet-like features" to thin-and-light notebooks below the $1,000 threshold.



    Uhm... MacBook Air?

    Just a thought. \
  • Reply 62 of 73
    This was always to be.





    Intel upped their prices by something like 50% above expectations.

    People are just too used to buying $500 laptops.
  • Reply 63 of 73
    ruel24ruel24 Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post


    The iPad predates the iPhone (probably 2005ish), and then suddenly people tried to slap together a tablet and some software together in less than a year after they saw the iPad.



    Just watched the PBS show on Steve and apparently, he envisioned the iPad 30 years ago at Apple. It wasn't just that he envisioned a slate/tablet computer, either. He envisioned it revolutionizing the print media and other things, as well.
  • Reply 64 of 73
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    Just watched the PBS show on Steve and apparently, he envisioned the iPad 30 years ago at Apple. It wasn't just that he envisioned a slate/tablet computer, either. He envisioned it revolutionizing the print media and other things, as well.



    Which of course some people will say he was just riffing on the Dynabook, but I watched the same documentary and the way that journalist described it, it came out very close to what they were discussing. Reminds me of how David Fincher's crew was talking about Fight Club and how when they were first envisioning some scenes he was describing a car that would be in a background shot and 2 years later that exactly detailed, beatup car that had nothing really to do w/the film was there just as he had described it 2 years before. Attention to detail and staying focused on them are very interesting traits.
  • Reply 65 of 73
    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.



    General consumers will look at it and say "its not cheap like that Dell over there".



    Computer literate people like myself and many others will simply touch on some very big problems:
    • I think the SSDs are the same in each machine and the 11" Asus is the same price as the 11" Air. £849.

    • The Asus has double the SSD capacity and double the RAM but it falls short in other areas and you can tell this is where they've saved money to match the price point.

    • The sound system in the Asus is standard analogue stereo audio - the Air is studio quality analogue audio with S/PDIF optical support in combo jacks - Asus is just a headphone jack. The Asus may have better built in speakers but it means nothing when the sound card is just the standard intel chipset.

    • Mini HDMI and Mini VGA are useless and rare - especially when the Air has Thunderbolt that can do HDMI + VGA + DVI + Mini Display.

    • The screen is the absolute biggest let down on the Asus: very poor contrast of approx. 144:1 compared to the 634:1 for the 11" Air. I've got a Compaq with a similar contrast ratio and I, honestly, would feel conned paying £849 and getting a monitor on par with a £299 Compaq. The brightness is also very uneven.

    Yeah woo more RAM and Disk Space, but is it worth it for that monitor and sound-card? I think the WebCam is standard VGA as well but don't quote me on that...
  • Reply 66 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by benanderson89 View Post


    [*]The sound system in the Asus is standard analogue stereo audio - the Air is studio quality analogue audio with S/PDIF optical support in combo jacks - Asus is just a headphone jack. The Asus may have better built in speakers but it means nothing when the sound card is just the standard intel chipset.



    I think the WebCam is standard VGA as well but don't quote me on that...



    The speakers and headphone jack were both said to sound kiind of tinny and not that great in the Ars review. Also the Facetime camera in the MBA is a 0.3MP VGA camera just like the ASUS one.
  • Reply 67 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    The speakers and headphone jack were both said to sound kiind of tinny and not that great in the Ars review. Also the Facetime camera in the MBA is a 0.3MP VGA camera just like the ASUS one.



    I was under the impression it was a HD cam in the Air given it was a "Facetime" camera. My bad then



    So the speakers, ports AND the soundcard are cheap and crappy - so much for those premium speakers...
  • Reply 68 of 73
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    I'm puzzled by the idea that the release of Windows 8 will fuel a huge explosion in Ultrabook sales.



    Is the idea that people will be looking to upgrade and take the usual "just buy a new computer" path? That might work if the replacement computer is a Walmart tower for $400 with monitor, but not for a $1,000 laptop. That's a considered purchase. At which point one might consider the real deal, which can run Windows 8 if you wish.



    Or maybe it's that Windows 8 makes the Ultrabook experience better? I'm not seeing how, unless the plan is to give those Ultrabooks touch-screens, in which case we're talking about an expensive gimmick (which, given the track record of Windows box assemblers, doesn't actually seem that far fetched).
  • Reply 69 of 73
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by benanderson89 View Post


    I was under the impression it was a HD cam in the Air given it was a "Facetime" camera. My bad then



    So the speakers, ports AND the soundcard are cheap and crappy - so much for those premium speakers...



    Yeah the difference is the MBP has the Facetime HD camera, the MBA just has Facetime. The speakers themselves might be good,m but if you have a shitty soundcard driving them....





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    I'm puzzled by the idea that the release of Windows 8 will fuel a huge explosion in Ultrabook sales.



    Is the idea that people will be looking to upgrade and take the usual "just buy a new computer" path? That might work if the replacement computer is a Walmart tower for $400 with monitor, but not for a $1,000 laptop. That's a considered purchase. At which point one might consider the real deal, which can run Windows 8 if you wish.



    Or maybe it's that Windows 8 makes the Ultrabook experience better? I'm not seeing how, unless the plan is to give those Ultrabooks touch-screens, in which case we're talking about an expensive gimmick (which, given the track record of Windows box assemblers, doesn't actually seem that far fetched).





    Currently they can't manage to give better screens to MBA competitors that cost the same or more, how are they going to roll touch screens in there while still maintaining screen quality and price? I don't see that happening. Plus there is the old issue about using a touch screen at arm's length. It's one thing having a tablet sitting in your lap, but having your arm stretched out to the desktop for extended periods....not so interesting.
  • Reply 70 of 73
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    It's interesting to note that tech seems to be coming more and more into alignment with Apple's way of doing things.



    Apple has always emphasized a personal relationship with their devices, working very hard to create satisfaction across the entire product experience-- from purchase to packaging to set up, from hardware and software and most especially the interaction of the two-- Apple explicitly intends to "delight" with a kind of intimacy.



    Now, in the era of dirt cheap PC towers, all of this could be dismissed as a kind of fetishistic affectation for a "particular kind" of customer, as Apple haters were eager to remind us. The idea that subtle details, careful attention to intangibles, deep integration, and most certainly the notion of a machine capable of "delighting" were anything worth paying for was not only anathema to the "I can build that for $5" brigade, but an actual source of disgust.



    Flash forward to now. Mobility rules the roost. Touch is taking over. What does that mean for our relationship to the devices we use? It becomes more intimate. We care more about the details, because the way we use them is more tightly coupled to the hardware. Big ugly beige boxes you can stick under the desk. Now we carry and touch our phones, tablets and laptops, and those represent the majority of our daily computing experiences.



    I think the Air beats the competition because when you're purchasing a featherweight laptop you want to really, really like it. You want to smile every time you use it. The PC world has only ever been about delivering at a price point, and making you smile is tacked on as a feature, if at all.
  • Reply 71 of 73
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    Yeah the difference is the MBP has the Facetime HD camera, the MBA just has Facetime. The speakers themselves might be good,m but if you have a shitty soundcard driving them....











    Currently they can't manage to give better screens to MBA competitors that cost the same or more, how are they going to roll touch screens in there while still maintaining screen quality and price? I don't see that happening. Plus there is the old issue about using a touch screen at arm's length. It's one thing having a tablet sitting in your lap, but having your arm stretched out to the desktop for extended periods....not so interesting.



    Right, a touchscreen on a laptop is ergonomically disastrous, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if one or more manufacturers use same to "differentiate" their product, once it ships with Windows 8. After all, there will be a huge media storm around the Windows 8, and its touch abilities will be front and center. To the point that plain old desktop Windows 8 may suddenly look sort of old school.



    Sure, a touch screen would add cost, but it wouldn't be out of character for the Windows box assemblers to cut corners elsewhere in order to deliver that all important bullet point.
  • Reply 72 of 73
    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.



    And now, who say Macs are more expensive than PC.
  • Reply 73 of 73
    I'm new to this forum, but as I was reading up on the ASUS Zenbook and the MacBook Air, I couldn't help but notice this post. So, here's my two cents:



    I bought my MacBook Air about two months ago and loved it! Last month, I attended the Gartner Symposium 2011 in Orlando and learned of the ASUS Zenbook. So, upon my return from the conference, I placed an order for the Zenbook. To my surprise, the company I ordered it through told me it wouldn't be delivered until 12/2/11. What?! I thought you have to be kidding. Anyway, it arrived ahead of schedule last Thursday.



    Now, I've been using it everyday since and I have to tell you, I love it more and more the more I use it AND I have been using my MacBook Air less and less. Don't get me wrong, the Air is a great machine, but I live and work in a Windows world and to be honest, the first thing I did after booting up the Air was to download the latest VMware software and install Windows 7 as a virtual machine. It's the only way I can get any work done.



    So, my purpose for posting here is to say that I wouldn't be so quick to say that ASUS is out of the picture. Their slow start may be supply chain related. I think they will pick up a lot of momentum as more and more people get their hands on the product. I'm evaluating it for the company I work for and for now, it looks like we'll be ordering 80 to 100 more in the coming months. It's an early outlook, but the performance is really looking good so far. As an aside, we are currently running on Dell Latitude laptops that are too heavy to be useful.



    Good luck to all and I look forward to checking back in early 2012 to see where the ASUS Zenbook is in the lineup at that time. Cheers!
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