Intel has announced a new type of laptop at Computex 2011
: the ultrabook.
Talking to the the Guardian
before the show, Intel’s executive vice-president Sean Maloney explained that Intel was changing as a company in order to compete with ARM in the mobile market.
The ultrabook is the result, with Intel’s new CPUs making it practical to produce even thinner and lighter laptops than before.
When asked by the Guardian how ultrabooks will differ from super-thin laptops such as the MacBook Air or Samsung’s Series 9, Maloney replied ‘we’re lowering the price. Not so much immediately, but over time.
That might sound completely underwhelming if you think ultrabooks will be based around even smaller Atom processors – the fault with these has never been price, but rather performance. However, Maloney says ultrabooks will use Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and then Haswell processors, potentially resulting in much faster performance for the lower price.
‘Part of the ultrabook concept is getting really thin, really responsive systems down into the mainstream. When they [ultra-thin laptops] cost $1,000 or more, they’re relegated to the 10 per cent of the notebook market. If we do it right, the PC ultrabook will be 40 per cent of the notebook market in about 18 months.
’ Maloney told the Guardian.
Intel has had some previous success in the area of making laptops more portable while also cutting the price. Ultraportable laptops used to cost a fortune before Intel’s CULV range of CPUs cut the required battery life for a CPU that offered decent performance. A lower power draw resulted in smaller batteries and therefore smaller and lighter laptops.
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The first ultrabook is rumoured to be the Asus UX21(pictured), which would continue the trend of Asus and Intel revolutionising the laptop industry with an announcement at Computex. It was the 2007 show that saw the first netbook – the Asus Eee PC 701.
What do you make of the news? Is this Intel hyperbole, or the start of another laptop gold rush? Leave your thoughts in the forum