Ultrabooks vs tablets: tablet demise greatly exaggerated
Makers spin skinny laptops as tablet killers. Wrong.
If you read stories on the interweb, almost all of them sourced from a DigiTimes article, that tablet sales will be whammed next year by Ultrabooks, consider.
Point is, he is, as any computer company executive in similar circumstances would do, talking up the product he's launching.
Lin reckons Ultrabooks won't start to hit their stride until early next year.
Acer's Aspire S3 Ultrabook at IFA
No surprise that, since Intel has already said second-gen models based in its 'Ivy Bridge' chippery will be out then to deliver better performance and battery life than first-gen models.
Lin also sees no reason why Ultrabooks won't account for 30 per cent of global notebook sales by the end of 2012. Again, that's a prediction already made by Intel.
But he also believes Ultrabooks will quickly eat into tablet sales.
They may very well do so, but Acer has reason to spread some FUD here. The success of Apple's iPad caught it off guard - and plenty of rival PC makers too - and it has struggled to catch up.
Back in March this year, executives admitted the company's tablet strategy was "missing". Despite announcing new models, a month later Acer bosses were running around telling anyone who would listen that fondleslab fever was fading.
Apple's sales - not to mention those of other Android tablet makers - would suggest not.
The word from market watchers who track sales to customers - as opposed to shipments from factories, which basically require you to take manufacturers at their word - is that Android tablet sales are very bursty. Sales shoot up at launch, but quickly decline once a vendors' fans have had their fix.
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Tablets != Laptops
How many times must this be said: tablet devices - fondleslabs - are not the same as Laptop computers. This blindingly obvious fact is still completely missed by many PC manufacturers.
A tablet device does not run Windows. It's very much the sort of device that Apple have produced; a stand-alone device with few if any peripherals.
Interestingly Apple seem to have pitched the price and product absolutely right. All the others need to beat this. Given that they can't improve the product -- such is the standard that Apple have set -- then they must improve the price. As Apple have years of experience of building high-tech high-volume consumer devices, the iPod, the PC manufacturers are indeed batting on a sticky wicket.
If only they could manage a passing resemblance to the build quality of the MBA.
Macbook Air clones
They're going to have to compete with the MBA - they're going to struggle to get prices down without some serious compromises somewhere (most likely case material). It seems most of the prototypes bear more than a passing resemblance to the MBA!
ASUS Transformer - Survey says it da bomb!
From an admittedly small sample size (me, the owner, and about a dozen friends, colleagues and associates who have had some "hands on" time with the device), the verdict is a resounding HELL YEAH that a tablet which can dock/transform into a netbook is a perfect compromise/hybrid.
I myself used to enjoy browsing the web on my partner's iPad, and the eeePad is a world of productivity apart from that very passive media consuming fruit slab.
I don't think much can be drawn from "sales falling back" of the Transfomer since launch - that happens with just about any new device... an initial rush which slows as more reflective and considered purchasers choose to part with their hard earned.
And the decision to part with hard earned is also becoming harder... the success of the iPad was perhaps as much a result of it's launch coming at the end of the most recent period of consumer optimism, and the relative lack of success of more recent tablets equally perhaps attributable to the new era of consumer fear and pessimism.
Save the racist remarks for /b/ thanks.