Lower-end ultrabooks equipped with hybrid disk drives could hit price points as low as $600, according to an Asia-based report.
Because hybrid HDDs--which combine a small-capacity solid-state drive with a standard hard disk drive--cost about 50 percent less than solid-state-only drives, PC makers will opt for hybrid drives in lower-end models, according to a report Wednesday in DigiTimes. This will send prices below $700.
Ultrabooks--skinny Windows 7 laptops that mimic the portability of tablets--currently bottom out at about $800. That includes the Toshiba Portege Z835, now priced as low as $799.99 at retail. The Z835 uses a 128GB SSD, not a hybrid drive.
Future ultrabooks equipped with hybrid HDDs will fall to between $600 and $700 in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to DigiTimes, citing sources.
Those same sources claim that Intel will cut prices on its next-generation Ivy Bridge chip by up to $70.
Intel doesn't see it that way, however. While the chipmaker does not discuss pricing of its products prior to launch, the DigiTimes report of a $60 to $70 price reduction on Ivy Bridge processors "is simply not true," a source at Intel told CNET on Tuesday.
Ivy Bridge is due in the spring and is expected to be the ultrabook processor of choice for Windows 8-based systems.
Updated on February 22 at 10:35 a.m. PST: with correction about price cuts. It should have read "by up to $70" not "70 percent."