Windows 8, price drops to accelerate ultrabook growth, Lenovo says

Lenovo's product chief Peter Hortensius says ultrabook prices will drop over time as the product category goes mainstream

While the viability of ultrabooks is being questioned, Lenovo product chief Peter Hortensius believes a drop in prices and the arrival of Microsoft's Windows 8 OS will signal a major shift in laptop computing and trigger more interest in the product category.

"We are bullish on where these kinds of products will go," said Hortensius, who is the senior vice president of the product group at Lenovo. "They will come in the sub-$800 category so they will be much more affordable."

Ultrabook designs are evolving, and touchscreen models will likely appeal to new buyers who will be able to take full advantage of Windows 8, which is a touch-based user interface.

"We also think because of thin and light design points, when you couple them with Windows 8, you see many interesting form factors enabled," Hortensius said.

Lenovo has already shown the IdeaPad Yoga, a tablet-ultrabook hybrid with a touchscreen that can be folded to work either as a tablet or an ultrabook. While Lenovo has done touchscreen laptops before, the previous Windows operating systems were retrofitted with touch capabilities. Microsoft has designed Windows 8 from the ground up with touch as a core feature.

"Windows 8 ... enables a bunch of new capabilities. It enables a new segment," Hortensius said. "Historically when you look at transitions, consumers switch quickly because they want the latest and greatest."

Intel envisioned ultrabooks a year ago as a category of thin-and-light laptops with tablet-like features such as touchscreens, long battery life and always-on connectivity. Intel hopes that ultrabooks will reinvigorate a slumping PC market, which has taken a beating from the growing sales of tablets.

Intel last week said about 30 new ultrabook models with its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors will come with touchscreens. With initial prices above $800, the viability of ultrabooks has been questioned. But Intel has said prices of the devices will come down to $699 by the end of year.

Lenovo agrees with Intel on its vision of ultrabooks from a design perspective, Hortensius said.

Lenovo on Monday introduced the IdeaPad U310 and U410 ultrabooks, which start at $749 and $799 respectively. The new products don't have touchscreens, but more features like touch will be added to the company's ultrabooks, as demonstrated in the IdeaPad Yoga, Hortensius said. The new products are a step further in the evolution of ultrabooks, Hortensius said.

Intel has predicted 40 percent of all consumer laptop sales will be for ultrabooks by the end of the year. Lenovo's is estimating that 20 percent to 30 percent of its consumer laptop sales will be for ultrabooks.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?