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Intel Plots Plan for Super-thin Ultrabook Segment

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 37 comments

Intel plans for an entire legion of MacBook Air-like laptops by 2013.

Intel's Executive Vice President Sean Maloney kicked off Computex with an opening keynote that touched on some the new ground that the chipmaker would cover over the next couple of years.

Maloney revealed a new category for portable computer that Intel has trademarked as "Ultrabook™" that the company believes will be 40 percent of the consumer laptop market segment by the end of 2012.

Intel's vision for the Ultrabook is a marriage between the performance and capabilities of today’s laptops and tablet-like features in a highly responsive and secure experience, in a thin, light and elegant design.

The Ultrabook, as Intel sees it, won't be powered by any mobile ARM chip or Atom. Instead, it'll start with the 2nd Generation Intel Core processors. Intel is plotting for form factors that are no more than 20mm (0.8 inch) thick, and mainstream price points under US$1,000. Systems based on these chips will be available for the 2011 winter holiday shopping season. Asus has already jumped on the Ultrabook bandwagon with its UX21 offering.

Intel's stretching its future Ultrabook vision to beyond even the next-generation of chip technology. Maloney said that, following “Ivy Bridge,” “Haswell” is the third step toward achieving the Ultrabook and reinventing the capabilities of the laptop in ultra thin and light, responsive and secure designs. With “Haswell,” Intel will change the mainstream laptop thermal design point by reducing the microprocessor power to half of today’s design point.

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  • 16 Hide
    snoogins , May 31, 2011 5:47 AM
    Incoming lawsuit from Apple for infringing on their 'design' patent
  • 11 Hide
    Tamz_msc , May 31, 2011 5:43 AM
    Looks much better than Macbook Airs.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    memadmax , May 31, 2011 4:17 AM
    Nice, and the 20nm proc will be really nice. If this thing can run for 12 hours on batt, im buying it.
  • 5 Hide
    chickenhoagie , May 31, 2011 5:33 AM
    just what i've been waiting for! I'll definitely be looking to buy one of these..screw Mac OS. I want something thin running windows.
  • 4 Hide
    jimmysmitty , May 31, 2011 5:33 AM
    memadmaxNice, and the 20nm proc will be really nice. If this thing can run for 12 hours on batt, im buying it.


    Considering that IB will be 22nm and utilize tri-gate tech, I am sure that battery life will jump up quite a bit. If they implement power gating as well like in current gen Atoms, then they can probably achieve 12 hours.
  • 11 Hide
    Tamz_msc , May 31, 2011 5:43 AM
    Looks much better than Macbook Airs.
  • 16 Hide
    snoogins , May 31, 2011 5:47 AM
    Incoming lawsuit from Apple for infringing on their 'design' patent
  • 1 Hide
    DjEaZy , May 31, 2011 6:10 AM
    ... apple will go full AMD and sue intel...
  • 2 Hide
    DjEaZy , May 31, 2011 6:11 AM
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/apple-intel-future-roadmap-macbook,12780.html
    ... is thats why?
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , May 31, 2011 6:15 AM
    jimmysmittyConsidering that IB will be 22nm and utilize tri-gate tech, I am sure that battery life will jump up quite a bit. If they implement power gating as well like in current gen Atoms, then they can probably achieve 12 hours.

    the new gateing could increase over all preformance per clock, and allow for smaller processes, but it may also improve high clock power useage.

    not quite sure beyond that atm, but assume its one of the two. more power per clock = lower ghz processors, also cooler processors, and more battery, better power usage, means higher clocks with the same or lower battery usage.


    personally i despise these kinds of computers, as they are only about as powerful as a netbook but because they have "style" you pay 2-4 times their real worth.
  • 0 Hide
    Flameout , May 31, 2011 6:21 AM
    hah. going backwards much. tablets r just getting more powerful, and i foresee more compatibility with other devices, i.e. sending display data wirelessley to your monitor/tv, or audio data to speakers
  • 1 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , May 31, 2011 7:41 AM
    Looks good, and anything that competes with Apple is good in my book.


    Although not a product I'd personally buy, I like the fact that they're giving options to those whom are interested.
  • 1 Hide
    aaron88_7 , May 31, 2011 9:04 AM
    Flameouthah. going backwards much. tablets r just getting more powerful, and i foresee more compatibility with other devices, i.e. sending display data wirelessley to your monitor/tv, or audio data to speakers

    Tablets still have a long ways to go before they can compete directly with a laptop. I could never use a tablet in place of my work laptop. The main problem is Microsoft not having a good tablet OS and Google is still years away from being a viable competitor to Microsoft.

    So while I definitely want a tablet that can replace a laptop, I don't realistically see that happening for at least 3-5 years. Once tablets can compete they will have an easier time commanding a higher price tag. Right now it seems absurd to pay $500 for essentially a toy with no real productive value, but if I could do on a tablet what I normally do on my Windows based laptop all of a sudden $500 would be a steal.

    But until all that happens I'm definitely glad to see laptops getting thinner and more powerful.
  • 1 Hide
    molo9000 , May 31, 2011 9:42 AM
    Don't like the 11" form factor (around 13" is best for ultra portables), but light-and-thin laptops are really the way forward if the price is within range of the average consumer.
    90% of people don't use their optical drive anyway and don't need more than a dual core i7 or whatever is in this thing.

    btw: like the look of the metal keyboard. Wonder how it feels to type on.
  • -2 Hide
    poyntek , May 31, 2011 10:59 AM
    Wow, I think the Ultrabook idea is pretty cool, now if you load one of these with a nice cloud based OS, you can make your own improved version of Google's Chromebook for no added cost like this...

    http://www.tech-adventures.com/2011/02/jolicloud-portable-html5-desktop-web-of.html
  • 1 Hide
    alchemy69 , May 31, 2011 11:56 AM
    I'll wait for the Mega Super-Thin Ultra Nanobook
  • -1 Hide
    Chipi , May 31, 2011 12:12 PM
    Wait.... WHEN?

    Title says 2013, first paragraph says 2012, then you mention 2011. Make up your mind!
  • 0 Hide
    vaughn2k , May 31, 2011 12:13 PM
    Super thin is good. But I love super lightweight and super long battery life, Better!
  • 1 Hide
    nebun , May 31, 2011 12:26 PM
    Tamz_mscLooks much better than Macbook Airs.

    looks the same....i see not difference...one does not have the apple logo...i really don't like the apple hardware, but they look the same
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , May 31, 2011 12:27 PM
    give me a good graphics chip and i will take one
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 31, 2011 12:27 PM
    so, 4+ years later and the industry finally catches up with Apple on another frontier.
  • 0 Hide
    Marcus Yam , May 31, 2011 1:06 PM
    ChipiWait.... WHEN?Title says 2013, first paragraph says 2012, then you mention 2011. Make up your mind!

    Here is the timeline, as taken from the full article text:
    2011 - "Systems based on these chips will be available for the 2011 winter holiday shopping season." - this means that you will be able to buy them starting later this year (2011)

    2012 - "Maloney revealed a new category for portable computer that Intel has trademarked as "Ultrabook™" that the company believes will be 40 percent of the consumer laptop market segment by the end of 2012." - this means that, a full year after introduction, 40% of new laptops will be Ultrabooks.

    2013 - "Intel plans for an entire legion of MacBook Air-like laptops by 2013." - If 40 percent of new laptops are Ultrabooks by the end of 2012, this would logically extend that a significant portion notebooks will still be Ultrabooks in the immediate new year.
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