PC vendors who are struggling with the high cost of producing sleek looking aluminum bodies for Ultrabooks are now turning to high-density fibreglass and plastic parts in an effort to control costs. Meanwhile Apple is snaring most of the aluminium body parts.According to DigiTimes PC vendors are facing limited capacity and price restrictions due to the high cost of producing an Ultrabook which Intel claims will account for 40% of the notebook market next year.
Manufacturers claim that limited capacity is the major issue of the unibody chassis since each CNC machine can only produce one unibody chassis every three hours, meaning a machine can only produce eight pieces each day.
Catcher Technology, the largest unibody chassis manufacturer who currently manufacturers the MacBook Air notebooks is unable to manufacture enough bodies for ultrabook manufacturers as Catcher is giving Apple priority when it comes to supply.
The introduction of a new aluminum chassis with plastic internal parts will allow ultrabooks manufacturers to deliver a metal appearance, despite all the internal parts being made from plastic stuck to metal parts using glue.
Sources claimed that a unibody chassis costs about US$40-80, while the new design costs US$20-30.
The new components will help vendors push out ultrabook models with prices less than US$1,000 says DigiTimes.
With ultrabooks expected to account for 30-40% of total notebook shipments in the future, chassis designs are expected to be separated into three different levels: unibody chassis at the high-end, the new chassis design made through stamping for mid-range, and plastic fiberglass for the lower-end.