Intel: Ultrabooks to arrive in autumn

Intel has said a trio of manufacturers will launch its new Ultrabook category computers in the third or fourth quarter, and expects to see their prices below $999.

Intel: Ultrabooks to arrive in autumn

According to the company, Lenovo, Asustek and Acer are all preparing the lightweight laptops for the autumn, after Intel announced its answer to the MacBook Air back in May.

Meanwhile, Intel Capital, Intel’s investment arm, will create a $300 million fund to invest in companies building hardware and software technologies for the Ultrabook.

“We are working very hard to bring the Ultrabook into the main stream… the prices will come down over time,” said Erik Reid, Intel’s PC client group general manager of mobile platforms.

Ultrabooks will be lightweight but still pack high-performance processors. Intel has high hopes for them, predicting they will account for 40% of laptop consumer sales by the end of next year.

Reid said Ultrabooks would also focus on the enterprise market and Intel is working with partners such as Dell and HP to launch the notebooks. However, the transition usually first happens in the consumer market, Reid said.

Intel is eager to make laptops more attractive to consumers who are increasingly captivated by Apple’s iPad and other mobile gadgets, and the company hopes the investment fund will spark innovation that delivers slim components and longer battery life.

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