How Much Does an Ultrabook Cost to Build?

Paul Lilly

We've been giving a fair amount of attention to Intel's Ultrabook concept, and if you've missed the coverage, the short and sweet of it is an Ultrabook is Intel's way of meshing the best parts of a tablet and an ultrathin notebook into a single device. Ultrabooks are designed to be thin, light, attractive, powerful, and full of features, and at least one talking head at Intel envisions Ultrabooks accounting for 40 percent of all notebooks by the end of 2012 (Intel as a whole is being a little more conservative ). Where things get tricky is in the price. Intel wants Ultrabooks to cost consumers less than $1,000, and so far notebook vendors aren't hitting the mark . Can Intel's partners really sell Ultrabooks for under a grand?

That depends on how much it truly costs to build an Ultrabook. According to news and rumor site DigiTimes , Intel has given notebook makers a reference Bill of Materials (BOM), which breaks down the cost of components, but doesn't take into account labor and other assembly costs.

If the information is accurate, Intel figures the BOM for a 21mm Ultrabook to be between $475 and $650, and between $492 and $710 for 18mm models. We don't know exactly how much assembly factors into the price of each Ultrabook, but based on the BOM, it would seem Ultrabooks are destined to drop below $1,000, sooner rather than later.

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