Ultrabook is a popular word these days in the technology world — as much so as netbook was a couple of years ago. Toshiba unveiled its lineup at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and it included some impressive designs in, not just Ultrabook, but also convertibles.
The video, which you can watch below, starts off with what the company terms as “the first 21 x 9 aspect ratio Ultrabook”. It also packs Harmon Kardon speakers — a name many of you home theater geeks (I am one of you) will know.
There is also a new 14.1 inch Ultrabook that packs a 500 GB HDD, as opposed to an SSD, which saves a bit on the cost, but is still thin and lightweight. The company also unveiled an Intel Core i9 convertible which can be slid to convert into a tablet.
Prices for these devices begin at $799 and range up from there. You can get more details on specs and availability in the video below.
Google announced they are dropping the price of the Chromebook by 30%. Some Chromebooks will be as low as $299. But questions still arise if a Chromebook is in your holiday wish list, when you can get a Kindle Fire, nook Color for less. Even the iPad could be in more stockings than the ultra-portable laptop.
Chromebook came out back in June as Google’s answer to a PC that didn’t have a complicated OS to it. You would load the Chromebook up to a Chrome browser; inside, all your applications would be in the cloud and the data you create would also mostly reside in a cloud drive. However, if you were in a 3G deadspot or didn’t have Wifi, then your work would be rather limited.
Competing with a Tablet
Chromebook’s price drop is pretty much an attempt to counter the prices of the Kindle Fire and nook color tablets, which debuted to the general public last week at $199 and $249 respectively. The tablet – which you could connect a bluetooth keyboard and mouse – could technically become a more functional notebook than a Chromebook itself. And with prices at $100 lower than the device, will a Samsung or Acer Chromebook even be in your holiday purchase radar?
What is Chromebook’s Market?
Chromebook has to figure out where their niche is going to be. Maybe as a laptop for the kids, or a machine you can keep in the kitchen to call up recipes or as a kiosk in a public place? Back in September, I saw the Chromebook lounge in the San Francisco Airport. Those kiosks would be great for people that have hours to wait but don’t have a computer to check their Facebook profiles or email on.
Remember when the Netbook was a popular item two years ago? What happened to that? The answer is the netbook disappeared fast. You can still get a netbook, but just like the Chromebook, why should you spend $300 or more for a device that is the same speed and power as a Kindle Fire or nook Color?
So now we can start to see the impact of these two new tablets are bringing to the holiday shopping season. Chromebook has to compete with something more compact and useable. Google has not released any data regarding Chromebooks sold, but a DigiTimes report (premium content site) says it all:
“In June 2011, Acer and Samsung launched their Chromebooks ahead of other PC brand vendors, but by the end of July, Acer had reportedly only sold 5,000 units and Samsung was said to have had even lower sales than Acer, according to sources from the PC industry.”
What does that mean to Chromebook? Simply: It’s time to drop prices and hope the Chromebook will sell well in Q4.