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Ultrabook chips expensive, laptop makers moan

Far-eastern notebook assemblers have gone cap in hand to Intel, asking for a cut in chip prices in order to make Intel's suggested Ultrabook format boxes more affordable.

Intel gave the demand short shrift, according to a Digitimes report, which said notebook makers had been asking Intel to cut the price of Ultrabook chips in half. Intel responded with a measly 20 per cent cut for its tier-one customers only.

According to Digitimes' sources amongst Taiwanese notebook makers, the high price of chips aimed at the slimline format Intel is seeking to punt if putting them off building the things.

Manufacturers operate on slim enough margins as it is, compared with the per-chip mark-up Intel commands. They'd prefer to make other types of device and avoid the Ultrabook altogether they told Intel in a fit of pique and brinkmanship.

After marketing subsides and discount to tier-one cutsomers, the Core i7-2677 still costs US$317, the Core i7-2637 US$289 and the Core i5-2557 US$250, according to Digitimes' figures.

Even Intel's latest Atom chips are expensive compared to competing solutions from the likes of Nvidia, the grumbling manufacturers wailed. With reports tricking in of a channel stuffed with unsold chips, and a Far- Eastern rebellion brewing, Intel will seen be kiss goodbye to 60+ per cent margins, analysts are suggesting.