In a move that can only be good for consumers, Intel is apparently putting pressure on Ultrabook component suppliers to minimise the costs of super-slim laptop production.

With Apple lowering the cost of its new Sandy Bridge-powered MacBook Air line-up by $100 at WWDC, Intel is keen to maintain the cost advantage of Windows-based machines, says Digitimes.

The company already has a plan in place to lower the base prices of Ultrabooks to $699 (£450) in the second half of this year.

However, Intel will reportedly meet with suppliers in Taiwan to discuss ways to make this happen sooner rather than later.

Cheaper components

The Digitimes report claims: "Intel will focus on solutions to reduce component costs, including adoption of fiberglass-reinforced plastic cases in place of expensive aluminum-alloy, 16650 cylinder-shaped batteries or prismatic lithium-ion batteries in place of Li-polymer batteries and hybrid-HDDs in place of SSDs, the sources said."

While this may see the price of Ultrabooks fall to a more affordable mark, we've gotten used to the high-end feel of some devices like the ASUS UX31.

Surely replacing those cases with fiberglass-reinforced plastic would allow Apple to maintain its firm grip on the premium end of the market?

As well as the price cut, the chip manufacturer is looking to reach sales targets of 20-30m units this year, driven by manufacturers like Acer, Asus, Samsung, Toshiba and LG.

Via: Digitimes