Asus is expected to formally announce details of its new range of Ultrabooks tomorrow, but Giz UK got some exclusive details on pricing ahead of the launch. Apparently their cheapest models will start at £600, with the aluminum chassis UX21 and UX31 coming in at a minimum of £1,000.
Why so much more expensive for the UX21? According to our man-in-the-know, it’s because adding an aluminum body instantly raises the price by over £200. Once you throw in some higher-specced guts, you can understand the price hike.
Intel, the father of the Ultrabook brand, famously declared it wanted to see manufacturers charge under $1,000 (£649) per laptop, so Asus has just slid in there with these so-called affordable models.
There may be a name-change during tomorrow’s announcement, however: Asus is rumoured to be renaming the Ultrabook as “Zenbook,” though our man-in-the-know wouldn’t say why.
As for whether these Ultrabooks will be running anything but Windows, well…according to our source at Asus, they have tinkered with putting Google’s Chrome OS on some machines, but the experience was less than satisfactory. “We do have them, but yeah…no, we won’t be doing anything with Chrome yet.” Shame, because that new “Chrome Zone” store in London really could’ve done with some other models. Probably a safe move on Asus’ part though, considering reviews.
Update: Asus has got in touch to clarify that perhaps their Ultrabooks won’t cost from £600 as previously thought — though they believe that other manufacturers will be starting from that price-point.