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Intel Downplays the Tablet in Order to Promote the Ultrabook

By - Source: Daily Finance | B 23 comments

Is Intel flip-flopping on its tablet tune? I can still remember very well a concerned CEO Paul Otellini who promised that Intel would catch up on smartphones and especially tablets.

The company hired extra engineering and marketing talent specifically for tablets, ramped up its social campaigns with some employees trashing ARM processors, and now it appears that the interest in tablets has all but faded?

In a recent interview with PC World, Intel highlighted once again the advantage of ultrabooks over tablets as being content creation versus content consumption devices. The message is that tablets are nice to have, but if you have work that needs to get done, you need a notebook. Similarly, Intel has been describing tablets as "lean-back" devices, while notebooks are "lean-forward" devices. Imagine yourself with a tablet or a notebook sitting in a coffee shop and you can easily visualize the pitch.

For Intel, an ultrabook merges the worlds of the tablet and the notebook and offers the best of both worlds. Of course, that comparison only works if we ignore the fact that the big deal about the tablet is that it has successfully changed the user-interface from a physical keyboard to touch, while the user interface of the ultrabook is still similar to the one offered in the very first notebook - the Compaq LTE, which was released in 1989.

Intel will begin competing in the tablet space with the release of Windows 8 later this year. Intel's message may change again from being rather negative to much more positive until then.

For now, Intel seems to be concentrating on marketing the ultrabook as epic and cinematic as possible.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    monsta , April 5, 2012 1:27 PM
    Im not a big tablet fan , I would prefer an ultra book as a portable device.
  • 10 Hide
    fellskrazykayaker , April 5, 2012 1:33 PM
    I'm sure that the margins on Ultrabook processors is bigger than for tablets/smartphones. Not to mention that Intel's CPU have yet to gain any real traction in the tablet/smartphone area yet.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    scannall , April 5, 2012 1:25 PM
    I can understand downplaying Windows tablets. What wretched and cludgy messes those were. Maybe they will do it right with Windows 8, now that someone else has shown the way.
  • 13 Hide
    monsta , April 5, 2012 1:27 PM
    Im not a big tablet fan , I would prefer an ultra book as a portable device.
  • 10 Hide
    fellskrazykayaker , April 5, 2012 1:33 PM
    I'm sure that the margins on Ultrabook processors is bigger than for tablets/smartphones. Not to mention that Intel's CPU have yet to gain any real traction in the tablet/smartphone area yet.
  • 3 Hide
    rootheday , April 5, 2012 1:48 PM
    The snarky tone of the second half of the article seems like the author is just being obtuse.



    Intel has clearly stated that their vision is that most ultrabooks released in the second half of the year will be touch enabled (e.g. for Win8). Additionally, Intel is working with OEMs on innovative convertible form factor designs such as the Samsung Slate (the device operates normally as a tablet but has "dock" capability for physical keyboard, etc) and Lenovo Yoga (convertible between clamshell notebook mode and tablet mode).



    For what its worth, I am typing this from my Toshiba Sandy Bridge based ultrabook - I can tell you that even without touch/convertibility, the experience is quite a bit different than the Lenovo T420 I had before. I was a skeptic, but after a couple days, I realized that I carry my laptop in my hand rather than in a backpack when going to meetings. I don't bring my power cord with me.



    Other than the iPad and the Kindle Fire, have any of the other dozens of "media/consumption" tablet models sold in large volumes? Maybe consumers want to have both the power and productivity of a laptop and the portability and touch interface of a tablet... and maybe they would rather have that in one device rather than two.
  • -8 Hide
    XmortisX , April 5, 2012 2:11 PM
    I diffidently see tablets replacing laptops in the future maybe within 2-3 years. I know most laptops are more powerful but with being able to run powerful apps off the cloud, internet being everywhere and having NAND based storage it is more appealing in terms of cost, convenience and battery life. Little to no moving parts(yes I know some have SSD's in laptops) but you guys can't deny it...tablets are catching up in terms of hardware.
  • 5 Hide
    rantoc , April 5, 2012 2:56 PM
    xmortisxI diffidently see tablets replacing laptops in the future maybe within 2-3 years. I know most laptops are more powerful but with being able to run powerful apps off the cloud, internet being everywhere and having NAND based storage it is more appealing in terms of cost, convenience and battery life. Little to no moving parts(yes I know some have SSD's in laptops) but you guys can't deny it...tablets are catching up in terms of hardware.


    You think the laptop just all of a sudden stops being developed? Sure they catch up to the standards set by the superior device 10 years later, but what have happened with what they are trying to catch up with in that time!? I don't mind tablets for casual surfing, but anything involving typing ect i don't see the pad as useful so in my eyes its more of a toy and it seems intel have understood that as well.
  • 0 Hide
    XmortisX , April 5, 2012 3:25 PM
    rantocYou think the laptop just all of a sudden stops being developed? Sure they catch up to the standards set by the superior device 10 years later, but what have happened with what they are trying to catch up with in that time!? I don't mind tablets for casual surfing, but anything involving typing ect i don't see the pad as useful so in my eyes its more of a toy and it seems intel have understood that as well.


    I never said laptops will be stopped now. But in next few years yes. Tablets will catch up the capabilities of laptop including connivance and less bulkiness of them.
  • 5 Hide
    kawininjazx , April 5, 2012 3:27 PM
    I think Laptops, Desktops, Netbooks, Ultrabooks, and Tablets can all live together in harmony, I don't think any of them will replace the other.
  • -1 Hide
    DjEaZy , April 5, 2012 5:40 PM
    Intel Downplays the Tablet in Order to Promote the Ultrabook... an if intel wanna win this, they better get the start button back in windows 8....
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 5, 2012 5:56 PM
    Why this turnaround? At the current pricing, ultrabooks are nowhere near even the most expensive tablets.
  • 0 Hide
    erunion , April 5, 2012 5:58 PM
    Obviously Intel's comments were directed only towards the tablets that are available today.
  • 0 Hide
    Zingam_Duo , April 5, 2012 6:20 PM
    roothedayThe snarky tone of the second half of the article seems like the author is just being obtuse. Intel has clearly stated that their vision is that most ultrabooks released in the second half of the year will be touch enabled (e.g. for Win8). Additionally, Intel is working with OEMs on innovative convertible form factor designs such as the Samsung Slate (the device operates normally as a tablet but has "dock" capability for physical keyboard, etc) and Lenovo Yoga (convertible between clamshell notebook mode and tablet mode). For what its worth, I am typing this from my Toshiba Sandy Bridge based ultrabook - I can tell you that even without touch/convertibility, the experience is quite a bit different than the Lenovo T420 I had before. I was a skeptic, but after a couple days, I realized that I carry my laptop in my hand rather than in a backpack when going to meetings. I don't bring my power cord with me. Other than the iPad and the Kindle Fire, have any of the other dozens of "media/consumption" tablet models sold in large volumes? Maybe consumers want to have both the power and productivity of a laptop and the portability and touch interface of a tablet... and maybe they would rather have that in one device rather than two.


    Dude, do you realize that the ultrabook is just a slimmer notebook and nothing else? That's because the components for building notebooks just got smaller as they have been getting smaller since the invention of electronics! "Ultrabook" is nothing but a marketing bullshit. It is not a new type of an animal. It is the same one but smaller.
    A tablet is a completely different kind of device and it is not a notebook replacement.
  • 0 Hide
    Zingam_Duo , April 5, 2012 6:24 PM
    kawininjazxI think Laptops, Desktops, Netbooks, Ultrabooks, and Tablets can all live together in harmony, I don't think any of them will replace the other.


    Yeah, they are just different sizes for the same class of hardware - a PC. :D  But many people fall into the marketing bullshit. :D 

    I usually use an external monitor and keyboard with my laptop so I hardly notice any difference most of the time. I don't really notice it is not a desktop until I decide to put it in the back and carry it somewhere. Then I remember how much fun it has been to carry my desktop PC around. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Zingam_Duo , April 5, 2012 6:25 PM
    xmortisxI diffidently see tablets replacing laptops in the future maybe within 2-3 years. I know most laptops are more powerful but with being able to run powerful apps off the cloud, internet being everywhere and having NAND based storage it is more appealing in terms of cost, convenience and battery life. Little to no moving parts(yes I know some have SSD's in laptops) but you guys can't deny it...tablets are catching up in terms of hardware.


    :D  Basically tablets are laptops too.
  • 0 Hide
    Wisecracker , April 5, 2012 6:45 PM

    UltraBook content creation meet UltraThin video and gaming. At $200 less.

    I hope Intel isn't going all 'scorched earth' on tablets. There should be some great stuff out in the next 2 qtrs. Lust that Hondo and Win8.



  • 2 Hide
    Tab54o , April 5, 2012 8:19 PM
    Ultrabooks are better anyway, tablets basically take a cell phone take out the phone (useful) portion and make the useless crap more important all without a keyboard.
  • 0 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , April 5, 2012 8:55 PM
    I don't think an ultrabook is content producing. I would rather get an Asus Prime with a keyboard for email replys and small content producing. Anything serious content producing requires a Desktop with at least 24" monitor and at least 6 cores and 8GB of memory. If you don't have does specs, you're computer is holding your content producing back. You should stop procrastinating in the coffee shop with your little ultra-book, and get to your office or home office and get some real work done.
  • 1 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , April 5, 2012 8:57 PM
    fellskrazykayakerI'm sure that the margins on Ultrabook processors is bigger than for tablets/smartphones. Not to mention that Intel's CPU have yet to gain any real traction in the tablet/smartphone area yet.

    Margins on ultrabook should be less because it is a bigger frame and more parts. Tablets are a win-win for manufactures because they have less parts, are lighter, therefore use less raw materials.
  • 0 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , April 5, 2012 8:59 PM
    kawininjazxI think Laptops, Desktops, Netbooks, Ultrabooks, and Tablets can all live together in harmony, I don't think any of them will replace the other.

    Yes, but what fun is left in that argument ?
  • 3 Hide
    LukeCWM , April 5, 2012 9:51 PM
    We have these articles talking about what tech device is replacing what other tech device, yet there is room in the market for SUVs, sports cars, sedans, economy cars, motorcycles, pickup trucks, and semi trucks all simultaneously. One isn't replacing another, they are just used by different people with different needs.
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