A Half-Price MacBook Air Rival? Acer Prepares $499 Ultrabook For 2013

Taiwanese manufacturer Acer says that it is not making much profit on a $799 ultrabook but that it will not prevent it from launching a $499 model in 2013.

The Verge quotes Christoph Pohlmann of Acer's laptop team saying that the $799 price is too low for Acer to generate any profit.

But then, this didn't prevent Acer Global President Jianren Weng from saying at CeBIT that the company will launch a $499 model next year.

The main reason why the current crop of Ultrabooks are so expensive is because of the stringent hardware template drawn up by Intel who came up with the Ultrabook name and concept (ed : although Apple should be credited with the idea).

To get the Ultrabook sticker as well as marketing funds from Intel, manufacturers need to adopt Intel's chips (chipset and CPU) plus adhere to a number of criteria like standby, bootup & start up time.

The only way for Acer to produce Ultrabooks at $499 would be to embrace cheaper components and instead deliver Ultrabook-like devices.

ARM partners and AMD immediately comes to mind and by the end of the year, we should see more Ultrabook-like laptops cropping up with the launch of Windows 8 and Windows for ARM.