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Acer, ASUS both trying cheap 15-inch, fiberglass ultrabooks

updated 11:50 pm EDT, Thu October 6, 2011

Acer and ASUS use fiber to try and undercut Apple

Acer and ASUS are both expected to try a very different strategy to drop below Apple's base price in the ultrabook arena, tipsters said late Thursday. At least Acer would start off 2012 by making a 15-inch model using cheaper fiberglass, not aluminum, to get the light weight. Digitimes was told that Acer had wanted to aim for the fall but moved it back due to "unfavorable market conditions."

ASUS was also due to follow suit and would even use fiberglass from the same supplier, Mitac Precision Technology. Both of them could save just $5 to $10 for the pure casing, but they could shave as much as $20 from the complete design.

The use of fiberglass might be partly dictated by Apple's edge in supply for aluminum. However, many companies are known to have complained about pricing and have been both scrounging for cheaper parts as well as unsuccessfully petitioning Intel to get discounts so they can artificially price their systems below the MacBook Air.

ASUS is due to bring its first very light and thin ultrabooks to the US next week in the aluminum-shelled UX21 and UX31, with Acer's Aspire S3 due soon as well. Pricing has been a mystery, and with the UX21 carrying many features similar to the 11-inch MacBook Air, it might not necessarily dip much below Apple's $999 benchmark without making sacrifices.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Innovate through the recession

    Sounds like half-baked strategy.

    Steve Jobs once said: 'we need to innovate our way out of recession' (or something like that). If Q4 is not favorable, then is Q1 going to be better? Q1 is the time to pay off credit card bills from Christmas and February is the time to break off with honey that has gone south (bad, that is). March...well, it's time to save money and plan to pay income tax.

    Maybe they are planning to sell expired stuff in June. Maybe they will do the same thing as they did in Europe earlier this year and write the whole inventory off.

  1. DaJoNel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Acer and USUS...

    ... not trying to change the world. Just trying to get by.

    Steve taught us better.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What they said and meant

    What Acer said: "unfavorable market conditions."

    What Acer meant: "not enough suckers out there."

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