Intel is using the yearly Computex Taipei exhibition in Taiwan as a platform to pitch a new category of laptops. Dubbed Ultrabooks, these devices are supposed to have three distinct features: they are thinner (less than 20mm/0.8 inches) and lighter than most existing laptops, and they should be priced below $1,000 in order to become mainstream.
Intel VP Sean Maloney says Ultrabooks have “tablet-like features” and boast “best-in-class performance, improved responsiveness and security in thin, elegant form factors”.
This all sounds a lot like the iPad and the MacBook Air, if you ask me.
But Intel doesn’t want to lose time: after rolling out a first wave of Ultrabooks with Sandy Bridge processors on board, the plan is to sell models with next-generation “Ivy Bridge” processors starting in the first half of next year. Intel is also speaking of an Ivy Bridge successor codenamed “Haswell” to be used in Ultrabooks from 2013 onward, claiming Haswell “will reduce microprocessor power to half of today’s design point”.
By the end of 2012, Maloney expects a whopping 40% of all consumer laptops worldwide to comply with the Ultrabook specification. The first Ultrabook, the Asus UX21 (pictured above), is currently slated for release this winter.