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

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Delete your photos by mistake?

Whether you've deleted everything on your memory card or there's been a data corruption, here's a way to recover those photos.