Feeds

Acer founder: 'Tablets, ultrabooks just a fad'

Shh! Don't tell Intel

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Those tablets and razor-thin "ultrabooks" that are grabbing all the headlines these days are just passing fads, says the founder of PC-maker Acer.

According to a report by DigiTimes, Acer's Stan Shih – yes, he of the "Stan Shih Smile Curve" – says that PCs remain the foundation of the IT industry, and that the industry needs more innovations such as tablets to spring from that base.

Shih, it appears, may have missed Apple CEO Steve Jobs' memo that "We're living in a post-PC world."

DigiTimes gives no source for Shih's comments, but it does note that he complimented Apple for its "outside-the-box" thinking when creating the iPad, and said that all players in the notebook industry should learn from such Cupertinian daring.

There's one major player in the IT industry who's banking on its belief that ultrabooks are by no means a passing fad, but are instead the future: Intel.

Intel ultrabook

According to Stan Shih, Intel had better hurry with its ultrabook plans – they're just a passing fad

According to a separate DigiTimes report, Intel has released a reference bill of materials for its ultrabook vision, and has been talking with notebook manufacturers about keeping ultrabook prices below $1,000.

Intel has been heavily promoting its ultrabook idea since it unveiled the skinny little fellow at an investors confab in May of this year, saying that the always-on, always connected ultralight would "redefine the consumer PC experience" when it appeared in 2012.

According to unnamed sources, the bill of materials – parts only, not assembly – that Intel is shopping around Taiwan includes two different classes of ultrabooks. One will have displays of 11 to 13 inches, a thickness of 18mm (0.71 inch), and a bill of materials if $493 to $710. The second will have displays of 14 to 17 inches, a thickness of 21mm (0.83 inch), and a bill of materials of $475 to $650.

At those costs, the retail prices of many ultrabooks should be under that magic $1,000 mark – which is important, seeing as how there's strong industry sentiment that the whole ultrabook concept may be doomed if the little fellows are more expensive than Apple's breakaway MacBook Air, which in its 11.6-inch version retails for $999.

This need to keep ultrabook component costs down is what Intel CEO Paul Otellini was referring to in a recent financial-report conference call, when he unleased one of the finer bursts of corporatese we've heard in some time: "What we have to do is work with the ecosystem to cost-engineer these features for high-volume price-point displacement."

But even that high-volume price-point displacement might come to naught if notebook manufacturers can't find enough materials in the ecosystem to build ultrabooks, what with Apple's sucking the NAND market dry, monopolizing battery supplies, and eating up the manufacturing capacity of magnesium-aluminum unibody chassis.

Expect to hear a lot more about the ultrabook from the stage of this September's Intel Developer Forum (IDF) geekfest, held here in beautiful downtown San Francisco.

That is, if what Stan Shih calls the ultrabook fad hasn't already cooled by next month. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.