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UltraBad? $1399 Asus ZenBook Hits OZ As Cut Orders 40%

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Can Asus Ultrabook create some Zen around the new PC category?

Both brands recently slashed factory orders from 250,000-300,000 down to 150,000-180,000 units – a whopping 40% drop – to be produced by close of 2011 due to the ‘unsatisfactory sales’ sources told Taiwan based DigiTimes.

The source from design manufacturers (ODM) are also pointing to the supremacy of Apple’s MacBook Air in design and features as one of the prime reasons for the tech consumer’s lack of momentum for the new Ultrabook PC category. 

This comes as Asus releases the first ever Ultrabook in Australia today, which starts at $1399 to $1999.

The specalicious 13″ Zenbook, measures 2.8mm thick and weighs up to 1.3kg, powered by either Intel Core i5 or i7 processors alongside 4GB of DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth V4.0, USB charging, Bang & Olufsen ICEpower speakers, and a quick boot-up time.

Acer denied it was overambitious in its sales forecast and says it remains confident for Ultrabooks over the long term.

However, time will tell whether Asus et al can create some positive Zen around Ultrabooks, first pipped by Intel earlier this year to cost less than $1000, although this pricepoint hasn’t materialised. 

However, the prices needs to come down before the changeover from netbook to Ultrabook can happen.

“If the cheapest ultrabook is $1000, the switchover isn’t going to happen,” said Suji De Silva, analyst at ThinkEquity.

“They put a very ambitious goal out there.”