Intel Sees $599 Ultrabooks Entering the Market by the Holidays

Pulkit Chandna

Will be powered by the company’s ultra-efficient Haswell chips

Their hefty price tags are a major reason why ultrabooks aren’t exactly flying off store shelves. True, the average selling price of these ultra-thin and -light laptops has witnessed a steady, if slow, decline in recent times, but it is still not quite where it should be.

Back in October 2011, when the first ultrabooks had just started trickling into the market,  Intel vice president Navin Shenoy seconded what was then a very popular belief among tech analysts: ultrabooks needed to start somewhere around $699 to be successful. While Shenoy agreed that this was crucial, he made it clear that it “doesn't have to be overnight.”

More than a year later, we aren’t quite there yet and now Intel is saying that it sees $599 ultrabooks entering the market during this year’s holiday season . Speaking at the Intel Solutions Summit (ISS) 2013 last week, Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group, told OEMs that these Intel Haswell-powered ultrabooks will be both more affordable and feature rich compared to existing models,  which he described as being “just a retrofit of what was already in the market.”

The Haswell-powered models will, according to Skaugen, will come with high-res touchscreen displays, faster SSDs, voice recognition and facial recognition and “all-day” battery life.

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