Intel Counting on Ultrabooks

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2012-04-17 Print this article Print


Ultrabooks are an extremely thin and light form factor designed to offer the productivity and performance of traditional laptop with features found in tablets, including long battery life, instant-on capabilities and, later this year, touch screens. Analysts say Ultrabooks are a way to help Intel bolster a slowing PC market while creating another avenue into the mobile computing space.

Otellini said there already are 21 Ultrabooks on the market, and more than 100 designs will be released over the next few months, most of them in time for the lucrative back-to-school shopping season. Pricing has been a key issue in the initial Ultrabooks€”most carry price tags of more than $1,000€”but Otellini said the next generation will offer more affordable, "mainstream" prices. He said he is confident that Intel will reach its goal of having Ultrabooks account for 40 percent or more of all laptops sold by the end of the year.

Intel also earlier this month kicked off a massive marketing and advertising campaign behind Ultrabooks that officials said will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Otellini said a key to the success of Ultrabooks this year will be meshing them with the upcoming release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating systems, which will support touch-screen technologies. The new OS also will support system-on-a-chip (SoC) architectures like ARM's, which sees an opportunity not only to defend its presence in smartphones and tablets, but also to move into low-power notebooks, similar to Ultrabooks.

In January, ARM CEO Warren East dismissed Intel's mobile ambitions as "good enough" technology, telling Reuters that while the larger chip maker may get some design wins, it doesn't have the capabilities to take over the smartphone and tablet spaces.

"It's inevitable Intel will get a few smartphone design wins," East said at the time. "We regard Intel as a serious competitor. Are they ever going to be the leaders in power efficiency? No, of course not. But they have a lot more to offer."



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