Ultrabooks with hybrid drives could start at $600

The new devices could appear later this year, with hybrid disk drives helping keep costs low, according to a report.

The Acer Aspire S3 ultrabook uses a hybrid HDD composed of a 20GB SSD and a standard spinning 320GB drive.  Its price bounces around between $800 and $900.
The Acer Aspire S3 ultrabook uses a hybrid HDD composed of a 20GB SSD and a standard spinning 320GB drive. Its price bounces around between $800 and $900. Acer

Lower-end ultrabooks equipped with hybrid disk drives could hit price points as low as $600, according to an Asia-based report.

Because hybrid HDDs--which combine a small-capacity solid-state drive with a standard hard disk drive--cost about 50 percent less than solid-state-only drives, PC makers will opt for hybrid drives in lower-end models, according to a report Wednesday in DigiTimes. This will send prices below $700.

Ultrabooks--skinny Windows 7 laptops that mimic the portability of tablets--currently bottom out at about $800. That includes the Toshiba Portege Z835, now priced as low as $799.99 at retail. The Z835 uses a 128GB SSD, not a hybrid drive.

Future ultrabooks equipped with hybrid HDDs will fall to between $600 and $700 in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to DigiTimes, citing sources.

Those same sources claim that Intel will cut prices on its next-generation Ivy Bridge chip by up to $70.

Intel doesn't see it that way, however. While the chipmaker does not discuss pricing of its products prior to launch, the DigiTimes report of a $60 to $70 price reduction on Ivy Bridge processors "is simply not true," a source at Intel told CNET on Tuesday.

Ivy Bridge is due in the spring and is expected to be the ultrabook processor of choice for Windows 8-based systems.

Updated on February 22 at 10:35 a.m. PST: with correction about price cuts. It should have read "by up to $70" not "70 percent."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments