Skip Links

Ultra-hyped ultrabooks ultra-flopped in 2012

Here's what manufacturers can do to get ultrabook sales back on track.

By , Network World
January 07, 2013 06:04 AM ET

Page 2 of 3

Battle of the ultrabooks

In addition to pricing, Stice says PC manufacturers misfired when it came to marketing the devices. While "ultrabook" was an inescapable industry buzzword after the technology received praise at Computex and CES, manufacturers failed to reach the customers who live outside the technology world, Stice says.

This has already started to change, with television commercials introducing the device and its capabilities to mainstream markets. As the ultrabook pushes forward, Intel and PC manufacturers will need to focus on a combination of factors if they're going to successfully convince customers that they're worth buying, Stice says.

Manufacturers would do well to shed some light on their hybrid, or convertible, ultrabooks, which have the best opportunity to appeal to broad markets, Stice says. Those in the market for a notebook computer have most likely come into contact with a touchscreen by this point, or are at least familiar with the benefits of a tablet. However, they've been conditioned to use a QWERTY keyboard for years, and will be more comfortable typing long emails or creating documents in that form factor.

With convertible touchscreen ultrabooks, manufacturers have the opportunity to tell consumers that they don't need to choose between a tablet and a notebook, and can get both with one purchase, Stice says.

Intel appears to have recognized this, scheduling an event at this week's CES 2013 specifically to showcase convertible ultrabooks enabled with touchscreen navigation.

In order for Intel to successfully turn consumers onto touch-enabled convertible ultrabooks, Stice says Microsoft will need to chip in and help educate the public on Windows 8. As a touchscreen-compatible OS, Windows 8 bridged the gap between ultrabooks and the touchscreen, Stice says. If users are going to be expected to navigate the devices, they'll need to become familiar with the Windows 8 interface.

"So now that we've seen Windows 8 out, we're starting to see the advertisements and getting the external kind of push into the marketplace. And I think that needs to continue," Stice says. "They have to continue to give an education of what ultrabook is, how different it is, not just the fact that it's thin and light and small, but what else is out there."

For consumer markets, the ultrabook's battery life is one of the features that will need to be emphasized, simply because it's an easy way to portray the devices' advantage over tablets or other notebooks, Stice says.

"People understand it. It's not a technical term. Seven hours is better than six hours. That catches your eye," Stice says. "If [they're] looking at a choice between a media tablet and now they see this new PC that has fairly comparable battery life or better battery life, that will catch their eye."

As for the corporate markets, Stice says ultrabooks have a great opportunity to capitalize on an increasingly mobile workforce. As the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach to corporate mobility has become more common, users have realized what form factors are more conducive to their work day. Those who bought an iPad during its early hype, for example, may prefer the ability to convert the tablet into a notebook when it comes time to upgrade, Stice says.

Our Commenting Policies
Latest News
rssRss Feed
View more Latest News