The Air (any of them) is too expensive, and I wouldn't consider one of them for the price that they want. $799.00 Laptops made by anyone should be very full featured for me to think about them too. Plenty of very usable Laptops are sold for much less every day in many outlets. If you don't need to have the very newest gear, you can get outrageous deals if you look around a little.
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I was going to agree with the poster above but realneil is right. I mean the only thing these ultrabooks have is the super thin factor that does not amount to much; if I wanted an ultrabook, I would expect it to do mostly the same things other notebooks can do. I mean seriously, I can't understand the ultra thin notebooks and why people want them.
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It's pretty simple really, portability. In a world that's increasingly emphasizing mobility the laptop market is feeling real pressure to compete against these growing mobile options and creating a specific ultra portable standard is how they are going about it.
You won't really see the reasoning quite yet though because these first gen models don't really fit the mold that Intel intends for Ultrabooks and it won't be till Ivy Bridge comes out that Ultrabooks will really start to make sense, but that's only Q1 to Q2 of next year to wait.
While the lower end netbook market will be getting a major shakeup by 2013, Intel ultimately plans to compete directly with ARM and Ultrabooks are like the proverbial line in the sand to separate Intel's higher end solutions from the lower end.
No longer can Intel limit ATOM performance to separate the markets, something they established to protect the higher profit margins of their higher end products versus netbooks which are sold with very little profit, and once Silvermont ATOM updates comes out we'll be seeing a complete reworking of Intel's offerings. Though it may not be till Airmont comes out a year or two later that we'll see the real push into the mobile arena.
Suffice it to say, this is only the beginning and things often make more sense in hindsight than they do in the beginning.
Having so much power in such a small form factor is definitely convenient, but for many the price /will/ matter. I think this is for sure something to keep our eyes on, because there is so much more to come I'm sure. The competition in this arena is going to build, and hopefully because of that we will see some pretty (and hopefully cheap *crosses fingers*) new toys.
Once Ivy Bridge comes out next year Asus for one has reportedly has plans to offer Ultrabooks at $600 starting price. Though others may take longer to switch to Ivy Bridge but performance and pricing should get better at that point.
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