The big question facing Ultrabooks right now is whether or not notebook makers will be able to sell them for less than $1,000, as Intel is encouraging them to do. To help manufacturers drop retail pricing to three digits, Intel reportedly agreed to a 20 percent drop in processor pricing for Ultrabooks, and it looks like Asus will respond with at least one model that dips below a grand (and at least one that doesn't).
Word from news and rumor site DigiTimes is that Asus is planning to host an Ultrabook launch event in New York in October, just in time for the holiday shopping season but after the back-to-school rush. Quoting Asus chairman Jonney Shih, DigiTimes says Asus will launch five or six Ultrabooks in October measuring 11.6 to 13.3 inches.
Pricing will start at $900 and ramp up to $1,200, depending on the model. This is lower than Asus had initially anticipated, and according to Shih, it's because of price drops to key components, such as LCD panels and DRAM.
Things are quickly falling into place for Intel's Ultrabook concept, which bodes well for its future. In addition to half a dozen models from Asus, Acer chairman JT Wang recently downplayed the market for tablets and said he expects Ultrabooks to be the next big thing, accounting for 40 percent of notebook shipments by the end of 2012. Even if no other company jumps on board the Ultrabook bandwagon (an unlikely scenario), Asus and Acer are capable of pushing a concept into the mainstream, just like they did with netbooks once upon a time.