Intel to slash prices on Ultrabooks

Chipmaker Intel is still struggling to market sleek and pricey Ultrabooks, which are facing more competition than ever from high-end tablets and hybrids. However, it could finally be about to make them a bit more appealing to cash strapped consumers who won’t have their savings taxed by the Cypriot government.

During a recent event in Los Angeles, Intel promised that upcoming Ultrabooks, based on fourth generation Haswell chips, will have a starting price of $599. This sounds like a pretty competitive price point, as high-end tablets and hybrids usually start at about $500.

In addition, quite a few Haswell based Ultrabooks are expected to feature touchscreens, all-day battery life and high resolution displays, although they probably won’t sell for $599.

Kirk Skaugen, SVP and manager, Intel PC Client Group, stressed that Intel designed Haswell from the ground up for the Ultrabook, reports CRN.  He added that the new generation of Ultrabooks will allow users to leave their battery pack at home, although we’re pretty sure that’s what most users do anyway.

Ultrabook shipments are relatively slow at the moment and analysts, including IHS iSuppli, were forced to slash 2012 Ultrabook sales forecasts in half. It is not looking very good this year, either. IHS iSuppli cut its 2013 forecast from 61 million units to 44 million units.

However, as Ultrabooks get cheaper Intel might find itself competing against ultrathins based on AMD APUs, including upcoming Richland ULV parts and perhaps even some Kabini chips, based on the all-new Jaguar core.