Apple’s Control of Laptop Materials May Make Ultrabooks Cheaper
By Melanie Pinola
If you’ve planned to buy one of those slim and lightweight upcoming Ultrabook laptops, we have some good news for you: they may be $50 to $100 cheaper than expected due to a change in laptop materials. PC Buyers may finally have a reason to thank Apple since, according to DigiTimes, this forced switch from magnesium-aluminum to less expensive fiberglass should be credited to Ultrabooks’ main competitor, Apple.
Ultrabooks with their 0.8-inch or less thickness, need a really tough chassis and special materials—the same ones Apple uses for its MacBook Air laptops. The two main suppliers for this metal chassis are already contracted with Apple however, which forces Ultrabook manufacturers to compete for the limited materials.
At least three Ultrabook manufacturers will use fiberglass instead. The new material is said to be almost as tough as magnesium-aluminum used in the Macbook Air and, as an added bonus, it’s also cheaper ($5 to $10 per segment for the manufacturer). For us, this means a potential savings of $50 to $100 at retail. This may help offset the recent disappointing reports that Asus’ and Acer’s Ultrabooks may cost over $1,000, contrary to expectations.