Wow. The 13" ultraportable market just might be the new battleground for
price. For months on end, the real price war was ongoing in the netbook
sector. Companies kept pushing the barrier lower, with a few machines
selling for under $200 at times. But now, the 13" market is heating up.
Apple's new MacBook Air, Maingear's Clutch 13, and HP's Envy 13 are just
a handful of the ultra-mobile machines that are vying for your dollars.
As more and more people consider a powerful, mobile machine for their
travel arsenal, companies seem more eager than ever to compete at this
We remember a time when the 13" ultraportable
market was catering mostly
to the affluent, and to companies where price wasn't a concern. It used
to be quite costly to bring home a 13" notebook. Now, they're become
more and more affordable. HP has just slashed the price on the Envy 13,
which is widely viewed as one of the best 13" gaming laptops on the
market. Just yesterday, it was selling for $1450+, and today it's listed
for $999 after a $450 instant rebate.
That's a huge discount, and some are suggesting that this could mean
that a new ultraportable is on the way. It's hardly a secret that Intel
is planning a huge chip reveal for CES, most likely to affect the
notebook sector, and it's also possible that HP's simply looking to
clear stock of the existing CPUs to make room for the new ones. We're
always fans of seeing design overhauls, but that's definitely not set in
If you're wondering what $999 will buy you, that version of the Envy 13
includes a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo SL9300 CPU, Windows 7 Home Premium, a 13.1"
LED display, Beats Audio, an external 8x DVD writer, 250GB hard drive,
integrated Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi, two USB 2.0 ports and a
fair amount of pre-loaded software.