Technology is a sector that surely has a surprise element about it. So much so, that a new product is launched in the market even before the last launched product grows old. There’s no dearth of innovations and products when it comes to the technology sector. While one day, customers are surprised with Apple’s announcement to launch its new generation iPad, the next day, Noida-based Apple Group surprises them by unveiling its affordable Zync tablet in India. The latest to foray into this ever evolving space is the ultrabook. As per projected estimates, around 86 million laptops have been shipped to India and this excludes tablets. Laptops have been always the supremely preferred alternative to PCs; they have been modified at regular intervals with the introduction of the compact and sleek tablets and a laptop, in its latest avatar, is known as ultrabook. “The ultrabook is an emerging new breed of no-compromise computers that will increasingly combine best-in-class performance, improved responsiveness and security in thin, elegant, must-have mobile designs,” says Sandeep Aurora, Director of Marketing, Intel South Asia.
The ultrabook segment is relatively new to the Indian market, hence there are clearly no leaders in the country. But some of the major IT bigwigs, such as Acer, Dell, Samsung, Intel, and Wipro, are looking to consolidate their aggressive approach with ultrabooks in the Indian market. “Most of the OEMs have launched their products in the market and today you’ll find Intel-based ultrabooks from Acer, Asus, Lenovo, HP, Toshiba and Wipro amongst others,” Aurora adds. ultrabooks are slim, light, fashionable and powerful as they are designed to feature reduced size and weight, and extended battery life without compromising performance. ultrabooks have hit the technology market with a bang, being probably the most modern computer device at the moment. The product has received an affirmative response in the market, though there still might be room for further development in terms of ports. In the meantime, Intel aims to re-invent mobile computing with the introduction of its ultrabook devices that will provide the most complete and satisfying computing experience in one device. “From a technological standpoint, tablets and laptops are quite similar. In fact, some of the salient features of tablet designs, such as the touch screen interface, were first developed on the PC platform,” explains Alex Huang, Managing Director, System Business Group, ASUS (India).
Laptop v/s Ultrabooks: The Comparison
One of the biggest factors that persuade the Indian customer to splurge on gadgets is the value-for money feature. The price points offered are attractive and considering the varied features available with ultrabooks, there is a definite predicament as to how the pricing should be structured. While laptops are available at a price point starting from as low as Rs 20,000, ultrabooks are priced more, starting at Rs 40,
000. “The average pricing of an ultrabook varies from Rs 60,000 to Rs 90,000. A chassis less than 21mm thick, fast startup and a longer battery life of five to eight hours are some vivid characteristics that differentiate an ultrabook from a tablet or laptop,” informs Huang. From a technology feature angle, the difference in a product can be riveting. At a time when portability is being considered as one of the prime requirements of customer in their fast-paced lifestyle, ultrabooks might be the answer to these needs of enterprise professionals and travellers, who are clearly at ease with switching over to these sleek, portable gadgets. While laptops have a got tough fight with tablets and to a certain point, even with notebooks, the ultrabooks are clear ahead of the cluttered pack and looking to give the Macs of the world a run for their money.
The future of ultrabooks in India is very promising. The buzz around the category is very high with several publications terming 2012 as the year of the ultrabooks and we’ve seen unprecedented online buzz around the category as well. Several OEMs have already launched their products in the market with a few more launches underway and new ultrabooks with higher-resolution displays are also likely to be unveiled. By the middle of the year, there will be a wide range of ultrabooks for consumers in India, and ultrabooks are expected to flood the market next year, as PC and laptop makers search for ways to compete against the proliferation of mobile devices.
Leading industry experts predict that by 2013, a large majority of the PC market would have switched over to ultrabook devices.