Intel recently said that Ultrabook prices will reach $699 later this year. At that point there was already one model at that price and we were predicting $599 offers by the end of the year. Just a few weeks later there are 6 models available under $700 at Amazon.com with two offering Core i5 Ivy Bridge platforms and one offer right down at $650. If you’re getting ready for a back-to-school purchase, take a closer look at these.
Our number one bargain today is the Ivy Bridge Core i5 version of the Samsung Series 5. This is a great offer on a solid Ultrabook and we don’t think you’ll find a better offer in the USA today although if you want the same CPU and a DVD drive, the Acer Timeline U M5 is on offer too.
Samsung Series 5 NP530U3C-A01US – $699 [Amazon USA Link]
A surprisingly good offer and one we’d like to highlight as the #1 Ultrabook offer at Amazon.com today. This offer isn’t for the old Samsung Series 5, it’s for a full-bodied Core i5 Ivy Bridge model! We’ve got a 1st Gen Samsung Series 5 in constant use here at Ultrabooknews [I bought it for my wife; She’s using it for her business – Chippy] and it’s been rock solid. In fact the only problem we’ve had is that the user is allergic to the metal casing and now has to use a mouse – a problem for her until we get some tape on the casing. The HDD is a hybrid model but implements ExpressCache which we’re also impressed with. Battery life is good and the keyboard is solid. No backlight, but productive all the same.
Acer TimelineU M5-481T-6642 – $695.99 [Amazon USA Link]
The Acer Timeline Ultra M5 gives you not only a Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor but a built-in DVD multi drive. No, you’re not getting discreet graphics on this model and, as you would expect at this price, the screen is 1366×768.
We’ve read a few reviews on the Ultra M5 and there are definitely a few issues to consider but reviewers speak more about ‘average’ than ‘bad’ so there’s scope here, especially for anyone looking at a 14-er with DVD drive. A core i3 version (Sandy Bridge) will only cost you $649.99
Dell Inspiron i14z-2501sLV – $659.99 [Amazon USA Link]
Another 14” Ultrabook with DVD drive. The Dell Inspiron 14z is targeted at back-to-school and we have a feeling that you’ll see offers and rebates brining tis down to $599 in some cases. Keep an eye out for those but if you need something now and are happy with Core i3 1.4Ghz (Sandy Bridge) then this Dell offers 6Gb of RAM.
Toshiba Satellite U845-S402 – $699.99 [ Amazon USA Link]
Unfortunately another Sandy Bridge Core i3 model without Turbo Boost and the goodness of Ivy Bridge HD400 graphics. In comparison with the Samsung Series 5 offer above it’s a hard sell indeed but you do get a backlit keyboard.
Acer Aspire S3-391-6899 – $650.99 [Amazon USA Link]
The first Ultrabook we ever tested on Ultrabooknews.com was branded ‘honest.’ There were no major issues but it wasn’t exactly a class leader. Battery life could be better for a start and this model is only the Sandy Bridge Core i3 version without Turbo Boost. This is the cheapest Ultrabook we could find at Amazon.com but we’d advise to pay the $50 more for the Samsung Series 5 above or look at the Core i5 versions that are on offer from $674.99
Lenovo IdeaPad U310 43752CU – $720.94 [Amazon USA Link]
The Lenovo IdeaPad U310 has been advertised and promoted heavily over the last month but had some bad press about the WiFi performance. Apparently Lenovo have re-engineered the WiFi now and all models built after July 23rd have the new build. Lenovo also tell us that devices build before that date can be serviced. [Link]
Assuming Lenovo have truly fixed the issue this is a smart Ultrabook running an Core i3 Ivy Bridge CPU at 1.8Ghz for a good price. Ben unboxed the U310 recently and gave his initial impressions so check that out here.
The U310 is a touch over $700 through Amazon.com but on the Amazon marketplace the U310 is selling for as low as $694.99 so watch out for more movement on price.
If you see any offers on Ultrabooks in your area, let us know in the comments below.