A deal on an Acer ultrabook I found today reminded me of a question I wanted to ask, and that’s when you think we will see a small portable computer with similar features of the Apple MacBook Air, but for about half the price? My guess is in about six months or so from now, maybe in time for back to school in 2012.
Let’s face it. If you want to buy the best computer online today you buy an Apple notebook. If you don’t believe me, just have a look at the best selling notebooks at Amazon where 7 out of ten best sellers in the laptop department are Apple notebooks – not windows PC’s.
But for the rest of us who actually work for every penny we spend, the opportunity to buy an Ultrabook at half the price of an Apple product is too great to ignore for some of us. At least it is for yours truly. I would love to buy a brand new 2012 Apple MacBook Air if and when they are released but when you can get pretty much the same computer capable of the same tasks for half the price, one might argue in favor of the Windows machine.
UltraBooks Cost Too Much
The problem with the first generation ultrabooks, and to some extent some of the new 2012 ultra’s, is that at current retail prices they are too close to the price of an Apple MacBook Air for me to be willing to put up with the Windows experience when can buy a MacBook Air for about the same dough.
For a comparison of Ultrabooks vs MacBook Air’s, I am not going to compare every last detail as there are differnces in the technical specs, but in my mind there’s two reasons to buy this new brand of notebook computer: size and weight, and hard drive speed thanks to the solid state hard drives included in these.
A 13.3. inch Apple Ultrabook costs just over $1100 on sale at Amazon and the Acer Aspire S3 costs $799 from a variety of online vendors including Amazon.
The Air has features the S3 doesn’t have but they both offer SSD hard drives and light weight at about 3lbs each. The difference for the most part is operating system and $300. As I write this, I might be tempted to go with the MacBook Air – assuming I can find the price difference.
Unless I really needed to buy an UltraBook today, I would wait until we see a half price ultrabook. By half price, I don’t mean half the pric of regular price, but at a price point where I can buy two ultrabooks for the price of one MacBook Air and currently that means there has to be a $550 Ultrabook for these lightweight windows notebooks to really take off.
To be fair, it’s hard to buy a full featured notebook for that price, so let’s offer a little wiggle room and say that for me to buy a PC ultrabook over a MacBook Air the ultrabooks need to drop in price to the $500-$700 range. All that’s stopping them is the cost of the solid state drive, and with SSD drives continuing to fall it’s just a matter of time before this happens.
We’re off to a good start with a $100 off Ultrabooks startin to appear, we just need to see the prices drop another hundred dollars at least for these small notebooks to start selling in quantity.