Intel unveils “ultrabooks” to take on tablets
Intel is looking to combine the best of laptops and tablets with the “Ultrabook” as it looks to make up for lost ground in the chip market.
Intel has struggled to get its chips into mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, with both booming markets favouring ARM.
To make up for that, the chip giant has created an entirely new class of devices. Ultrabooks are light-weight laptops with tablet features such as always-on connectivity, fast boot times, and “thin, light, beautiful designs” less than 0.8in thick.
You’ll have always-on, always-connected, much more responsive devices, similar to what you would see with a tablet today such as an iPad
The first version was shown off by Asus at Computex in Taipei. The Asus UX21 Ultrabook and models from other manufacturers will arrive ahead of Christmas at a price under $1,000, but prices are expected to edge down to $600 within a couple years.
The initial release is not expected to feature a touchscreen.
“Computing is taking many forms,” said Intel executive vice president Sean Maloney, in a keynote speech at Computex. “Technology innovation is a catalyst, and we believe the changes Intel is making to its roadmaps, together with industry collaboration, will bring about any exciting change in personal computing over the next few years.”
Intel is bullish on the ultrabook devices, with Tom Kilroy, a senior vice president at Intel, telling Reuters in an interview that ultrabooks will make up 40% of the laptop market to consumers by next year.
“We’re shooting for ultra responsive. You’ll have always-on, always-connected, much more responsive devices, similar to what you would see with a tablet today such as an iPad,” he said.
Intel also noted that the next generation chipset Ivy Bridge will arrive in products in the first half of 2012, while the follow-up, dubbed “Haswell”, will arrive in 2013 and require half the power.