Demand For Aluminum Chassis Could Cause 2012 Shortage

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News Posted: Fri, Sep 30 2011 1:23 PM
Intel and its OEM partners have stressed the need to keep ultrabook prices low, even if they disagree about the best way to do so, but demand for certain components could work against such efforts if the systems actually become popular. Consumers typically associate plastic bodies with lower-end, less valuable laptops, which makes aluminum a preferred metal for higher-end systems.



Unfortunately, demand for ultra-lightweight aluminum chassis could spike in 2012 and drive up prices as a result. Digitimes reports that the majority of ultrabook manufacturers have opted for aluminum, including Acer's Aspire S3, Lenovo's IdeaPad U300s, Toshiba's Portege Z830 and Asus' upcoming UX-series.

Manufacturers have already taken steps to raise their production levels and Intel has worked with chassis companies to find alternative metals or body styles. Ultrabook pricing is already a serious concern, with most companies selling systems above $1000, despite Intel's stated desire that such systems come in below that price point. Thus far, Acer is the only company to come in well below the $1K mark, the S3 is expected to debut in the US at $899.
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pwrntspd replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 2:25 PM

Im not really surprised about this. Aluminum isnt cheap as it is, so i guess we will see what happens. I dont really mind plastic, infact if its well executed it looks and feels quite good (see Lenovo U260), but i would like to see some different materials in laptops. Carbon fiber or some composite mateirals and maybe even a lightwieght steel frame.

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rrplay replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 3:27 PM

yep the sleek aluminum chassis for the ultrabook is for me the way to go Still think that some better & stronger composite materials may be available to off-set the price increase of the aluminum to ensure competitive price points

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jonation replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 7:04 PM

something less prone to scratches and dents. my mbp has let me down in this area as well. and I have a padded sleeve for it.

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Just get MainGear to make an ultrabook out of Carbon Fiber and it would be the best Ultrabook ever Stick out tongue

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AKwyn replied on Sat, Oct 1 2011 3:58 AM

I have to agree, also Aluninum isn't used specifically in notebook cases, it's also used for desktop cases as well; so just imagine if there was a shortage, you could see how much prices of these cases would go up...

I'm really hoping that it doesn't come to this, I love my PC cases soo much.

 

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gazd1 replied on Sat, Oct 1 2011 7:22 AM

As for me I'm not an ultra book fan & I'd really like a bigger screen to view the internet by for long periods of time. Although I have one from the past & I chose an aluminium body on purpose & always will if I ever buy one again. As for a plastic body, I don't think that they want to actually drop their prices by much so get ready for tiny drops in prices if they change a force on us to plastics. All they think about is the highest price that they can charge & the cheapest hardware parts they can use.

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