Intel announced a new category of laptops — dubbed the “Ultrabook” — at the Computex computer show in Taipei. The first will be made by Asustek, and Intel says models by other manufacturers will follow.
The Ultrabooks are Intel’s way of bridging the gap between tablets and lightweight notebooks. It’s an ultra-portable computer powered by Intel processors and priced at under $1,000. Set to be released by the end of this year, Intel claims that during 2012 they’ll make up 40 percent of the consumer laptop market.
Well, you can’t say Intel’s not ambitious. Still, Intel is the most successful processor company in the world, so it’s worth paying attention.
The Ultrabook combines the features of a tablet with the function of a laptop. Intel didn’t elaborate on whether the functionality would be touch-based or use a traditional keyboard.
“There’ll be some confusion if you look at the fold factor; when you open it you’ll see a PC but if you’re on the go, just fold it and suddenly it’s a tablet,” said Intel Vice President Mooly Eden at a Computex media conference. “Is it a PC? Is it a tablet? I think it doesn’t matter.”
The announcement is another confirmation of Intel’s push into the smartphone and tablet processor market, the only processor segment the company doesn’t currently dominate. Nearly all smartphones and tablets use ARM-based chips that consume less power than Intel’s processors.
The first Ultrabooks will be based on Intel’s second-generation Sandy Bridge Core processors. The second wave, to be released during the first half of 2012, will be based on Intel’s upcoming 3-D based Ivy Bridge processors, as well as USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt technologies.
The third and final Ultrabook wave will materialize in 2013. They’ll feature an entirely new Core processor design. Code-named Haswell, these will have half the power consumption of Intel’s current processors, which will enable thinner designs and longer battery life, Intel says.
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