Price drops and a powerful new processor aren’t the only big changes coming to the ultrabook landscape in 2012. According to Taiwanese news site Digitimes, notebook makers will push hybrid hard disk technology in upcoming models.
The site’s sources said the move to hybrid HDDs will coincide with Intel cutting the price of its current Sandy Bridge processors by around $65 ahead of its new Ivy Bridge chip’s rumored summer release. Because hybrid drives cost half as much as their solid state counterparts, the decision could push some ultrabooks prices down to $700 or less, they explained.
Acer President Jim Wong has promised that a $100-$200 price cut is coming for the company’s Aspire S3 model this spring. By 2013, he said its ultrabooks will sell for $499.
The sky-high current average of $1,000 has already contributed to a lukewarm commercial reception for the next-gen notebooks, while newly reduced expectations for the device are being chalked up to sub-15-inch screen models failing to garner interest in Europe.
Market research group IHS noted that the cache SSD memory industry won’t be left behind, calling for shipments to increase by around 25 million this year thanks primarily to the growing ultrabook sector.