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Rumor: Acer to build a 15-inch Ultrabook with $699 price tag

Despite talk from Acer earlier this month saying it would be focusing less on low-end products and more on high-end super-thin Ultrabooks in 2012, a report from DigiTimes on Wednesday suggested the company is set to launch a dirt cheap 15-inch Ultrabook.

DigiTimes says that according to sources in the Taiwan-based supply chain, Acer will sell the new product for just $699, though specifications were unavailable. Indeed, Acer itself has thus far made no mention of such a machine.

If it does come to fruition, however, it will certainly appeal to anyone on the hunt for a portable computer with a larger screen size, as the vast majority of Ultrabooks currently on the market sport smaller 13.3-inch displays.

The only Ultrabook with a larger display is the Samsung Series 5 14-inch model, though it hasn’t yet been launched outside of South Korea. If its Korean price tag is anything to go by, when it does turn up on US shelves expect to pay around $1300. With this in mind, the rumored 15-inch Acer begins to sound rather appealing.

Acer CEO J.T. Wang said in a recent interview with Dow Jones that his company will be concentrating more on Ultrabooks in 2012, with the intention of taking on Apple’s ultra-thin $999 MacBook Air laptop.

“Ultrabooks will become our key growth driver next year as customers want a lighter, thinner notebook with longer battery life. Selling more Ultrabooks will also help improve our profit margins as they command higher prices,” Wang said in the interview.

If Acer does launch a solidly built $699 Ultrabook with a larger screen, it could well turn some heads in a market that’s expected to see a slew of new models hit the stores in 2012.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month computer manufacturers are expected to kick the year off with the launch of around 50 new Ultrabook models.