Acer: Dell and HP are sabotaging ultra-thin laptops

Thin and light laptops would be selling better if PC makers like Dell and HP wanted them to, Acer exec says.

Wondering why thin and light laptops with monster battery life haven't been a smashing success? Acer chairman J.T. Wang says Dell and HP are to blame.

According to DigiTimes, Wang says HP and Dell aren't pushing the ultra-thin category hard enough, particularly in the United States. Instead, they're slashing prices on mainstream notebooks, selling them for as little as US$400.

As a result, Intel's not seeing good enough sales on its consumer ultra-low voltage, or CULV, processors, Wang argued. In 2010, the chip maker plans to mainly push mainstream notebook platforms, possibly investing less in ultra-thins.

Ultra-thin laptops, such as Acer's Aspire Timeline 3810T and Asus' UL30a, tend to measure an inch thick or less, can last an entire work day on a charge and forgo an optical drive to trim down on bulk. They're larger and more powerful than netbooks, but they can struggle with gaming and 1080p HD video, partly because many ultra-thins lack dedicated graphics cards (Asus' UL80vt, on which I'm typing this, is an exception).

Wang believes that interest in ultra-thin laptops is stronger than HP and Dell would have Intel believe. At a recent trade show in Taiwan, ultra-thins accounted for half of Acer's laptops sold. Wang didn't say how Acer ultra-thins fared in 2009, but expects that they'll account for 30 percent of sales next year, backed by new models in March or April.

Wang's take on the ultra-thin market seems convoluted to me. HP and Dell aren't totally ignoring the category, with HP's ProBook 5310m and Pavilion DV2 (using AMD's Athlon Neo processor) and Dell's Inspiron 11z and the new Vostro V13. But Wang is essentially saying the competition isn't focusing on the laptops he wants to compete with, but that's of course their prerogative. And just last month, Wang was hinting at faster Intel chips on the horizon, presumably to power Acer's upcoming models, so the situation doesn't sound all bad.

In any case, Acer is the second-largest PC maker now. If ultra-thin notebooks haven't flourished, it could just be because Acer's offers haven't been attractive enough.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags HPnotebooksDellacer

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?