Laptop prices to crash as Windows 8 looms
Retailers have begun dropping prices on laptops to clear older stock ahead of Windows 8 and the arrival of touch-screen based notebooks.
Two forces are conspiring to drive down the prices of laptops. One is the arrival of Windows 8 in late October and the other is the retailers' urgent need to get rid of laptops with older 2nd generation Intel Core processors that are still crowding the shelves.
By itself, Windows 8 will have a big impact on laptop prices. That's because most laptops today don't have touch-screens, and Windows 8 is all about touch-screens. Designed for tablets as well as desktops, Windows 8's new UI is at its best when used with a touch-screen device. The new OS is expected to be launched in concert with touch-screen -based laptops from most laptop vendors.
As a result, prices of current laptops - most without touch-screens - have only way to go: down.
But the other factor driving down prices is that laptops with Intel's new 3rd generation Core processors (announced in May) are now hitting the shelves and finding there are still of machines with 2nd gen Core processors sitting on them. This will result in some dramatic price drops as 2nd generation Core processors get forcibly pushed out the door by retailers.
The specials have already started, kicked off by computer retailer MSY Technology with the first Ultrabook to go under $600 (see image above). Ultrabooks, of course, are the super thin and light laptops that Intel and computer makers has been flogging to death but whose sales have been less than stellar because of the premium pricing these laptops have attracted. But MSY Technology has now put a 13.3in Acer S3-951 on sale at $599, which, in Australia at least, is the cheapest price ever for what's become the market's most popular entry-level Ultrabook. More details on this special at Notebook Hunter.
Even 3rd gen Core laptops are getting in on the act. A good deal is an ASUS A55A-SX060S powered by a new Core i7 processor for $894 at Harvey Norman, the first to go under $900 with a 3rd generation Core i7 chip. This laptop comes with 4GBs of RAM and a big 750GB hard drive, making it one of the best-value performance laptop specials around.
For a longer list of specials, go to our sister site, TechLife.