Monday, October 29, 2012

Acer Aspire S3-391-33214G52add - Are Ultrabooks now "consumer" priced for the Philippine market?

Ultrabooks have gone from over 50K, to 40K, and not down to 35K, or more specifically Php34,990. Has the Ultrabook pricing gone down enough for it to be a typical consumer grade product in the Philippines?

You  can get very decent portable laptops with sufficient power for 18K to 28K these days. The 14-inch, 4 pound, Asus X401 series, and Lenovo S300/400/405 series come to mind.  Is the Acer Aspire S3-391 worth the money? 

  • Your additional 10-17K will get a lighter slimmer package. The Acer Aspire S3-391 weighs in at 3.1 pounds and is just 0.68 inches thick. This makes it almost a point lighter and substantially slimmer than the lower cost Asus X401. 
  • Also instead of the lower end AMD or Intel B Series processor, you get a Sandy Bridge Intel Core i3-3217U processor. Now this is one of the slowest Sandy Bridge processors available, but more users wont really need anything faster. This efficient processor will also get you 4 to 5 hours of real world battery life from the smaller than average 3280 mAh battery found inside the Acer Aspire S3-391. 
  • If you are the type to keep your laptop on all the time and keep it on sleep mode when not in use, the 20 GB SSD companion drive in the Acer Aspire S3-391 will allow for instant resumes from sleep.  

Basically, this are the best reasons to spend 35K on a Ultrabook, like the Acer Aspire S3-391, and not spend less on a regular laptop. 

Other than that the Acer Aspire S3-391 does not really offer more than a lower cost unit. But the Acer Aspire S3-391 is well equipped with Windows 8, 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, 2 USB ports and multimedia features (HDMI out, Dolby Sound... etc). 

In the new conditions now where a laptop is no longer a status symbol, I do not think the Acer Aspire S3-391 will be a success. Most buyers would probably prefer to but a cheaper laptop for home use and occasional carry, and the 10K to 17K saved could be used to buy a very decent smartphone or tablet.

On the other hand, the lower prices meant whereas I would spend 65K to 85K for a new laptop two years ago. I will probably only be willing to spend 35K to 50K for my next one. Yes, the cheaper options are good enough for me. And yes, I would rather compromise a bit on the laptop and get the best smartphone in the market. 

Sleeker, slimmer more value price ultrabooks are very tempting, and I do spend a lot of time writing. My MacBook Air might get replaced by one of these cheaper Ultrabooks in a year or two. But I will probably go with something less expensive. Right now it would be the Intel powered Lenovo's S300 or S400 ultraportable, both of which is priced well below 25K (without an OS, but I do run Linux on my PC's anyway). 

What will I do with the money I save? Get the best smartphone money can buy.

If someone who types a lot for a hobby and writes long documents for work, thinks this way, I do not see how Ultrabooks will become a success in the Philippine market. 

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