Ultrabook prices set to drop in run up to Ivy Bridge

Despite the Ultrabook hype-machine still whirring, PC vendors are already set to slash prices ahead of the release of Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors.

Having succesfully managed to limbo under the initial target of $1,000, the first devices released under Intel’s Ultrabook banner are set to drop even further – and without a cheque from Intel this time round.

According to Digitimes, retail channel sources have indicated that vendors are clearing the way for current stock to make way for the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors.   But with the new, faster and fitter version on its way, who would want to stump up all that money for what’s about to be considered old hat?

With a move to a 22 nanometre process on the chips, you can expect even better performance from the lightweight laptops, and increases on the seven odd hours of battery life that many are currently shipping with.

Windows 8 is also on its way, so it is likely that Ultrabooks could really start to come into their own this year – even if Intel’s wildly optimistic claims of owning 40 percent of the laptop are likely to remain a marketing department fantasy.

In fact it seems that with such a step up in performance about to hit the Ultrabooks, picking one of the current generation – even at the expected knock down prices – seems a bit crazy.

Even AMD is shaping up to offer some competition with its own version of the MacBook Air, and is hoping to gets its prices around the $800 mark without a reduced sticker in sight.

So if vendors are gleefully slashing prices on expensive gear it was shouting at you to buy a few weeks ago, there is likely to be a reason.

While prices haven’t substantially dropped in the UK, the US is seeing some more action. Acer’s S3 , somewhat of an oddity with a hard disk drive, has seen price drops to $799, while Lenovo and HP have lowered prices by as much as 25 percent and 21 percent.

It is expected that eventually the majority of the current crop of Ultrabooks will be lowered not so carefully into the bin marked ‘bargain’, and offloaded for as little as $699.

As prices drop and a new wave of next generation Ultrabooks looms just over the horizon, it seems that Intel may be able to silence some of its doubters and finally begin to claw in the sales it has so energetically talked up.