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ASUS to try to undercut Apple with $800 ultrabooks

updated 02:20 pm EDT, Mon March 12, 2012

ASUS UX32A and UX32Vd to aim for budget ultrabooks

ASUS' ultrabook refreshes could include some of the first truly discounted, mainstream ultrabooks. New leaks stemming from the same source for The Verge had two 13.3-inch models, the UX32A and UX32Vd, coming in at under $800. Both would still get Intel's low voltage Ivy Bridge Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, but only sometime after they shipped; initial batches would use the outgoing Sandy Bridge generation, insiders said.

Most of the cost-cutting would come from storage and wireless. Either would use a hybrid drive solution of both a small solid-state drive and a conventional 500GB hard drive, bumping up the weight. They would still stay comparatively thin at 0.72 inches. WiDi would be strictly optional, although the UX32Vd would make for the rare inclusion of dedicated graphics through a GeForce GT 620M and could be pitched as a light gaming PC.

Either would still have the option of the 1080p screen tipped for the upcoming UX31A. Choices of 2GB or 4GB of RAM would would be available on the systems, which could show up at or near the anticipated late April release of Ivy Bridge itself.

Cutting under $800 could mark the first instance of a Windows-based ultrabook pricing significantly under a MacBook Air without hurting the designer. Acer has been selling the Aspire S3 at $800, but at a break-even price versus Apple's healthy profit. Many of those jumping into Windows-based ultrabooks early on are used to relying on cheaper casing and slower processors to reach lower pricing, options which aren't feasible given the demands for very thin bodies and flash storage in ultrabooks.


by MacNN Staff



  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    when you're getting subsidized from intel this shouldn't be that hard to do.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Already phasing out...

    the first batch of unwanted product?

  1. c. haynes

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Windows... it's Windows

    Can't undercut Apple running Windows.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flip a coin, ASUS

    ASUS can pick from two equally bad strategies:

    1. Sell Ultrabooks at MacBook Air prices at razor-thin margins, or

    2. Sell Ultrabooks cheaply and lose money on each one.

    It's the same trap all the netbook makers fell into a few years ago, except that they sold tons of netbooks at a tiny profit per unit. They won't be selling tons of Ultrabooks, they all know that, and that's why Intel had to bribe them. The old netbook business model simply won't work.

  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Same old

    Same old story, same old POS! lol

  1. tfmeehan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let's see...

    Sell 1 for a profit of, let's say $75.00 or cut specs and margin and sell 2 for a profit of $50.00? Hmmm, sell 2 of course! The important thing is marketshare right?...right?

  1. tundaman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hard to beat?

    Dear PC makers, are you felling there's something wrong with Apple's price point that you cannot get to it, even with lower specs? That's what you get when you go against a company with a pile of hard cash to burn in R&D and production line.

    Welcome to Apple's unique economy of scale!

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