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Asus: Ultrabooks Won't Threaten Tablet Market

Despite all the reports and rumors about how one device will kill off another device, there's one constant we've seen thus far: smartphones, netbooks, notebooks, tablets and desktops have seemingly worked out their differences and are coexisting together. Sure tablets are the big craze for now because Apple (once again) came up with something innovative, and manufacturers are seemingly trying to cash in on Apple's success. But all of these form factors have a primary focus and an audience that will always come calling.

Of course one of the latest fears is that the dazzling new tablet form factor may be eclipsed by this new thing called an ultrabook. It will be powerful, slim and supposedly cost under a grand. Asustek Computer CEO Jerry Shen, whose company already has a few Android tablets on the market and an ultrabook on the way, is resaauring pessimists (aka market watchers) that both form factors will coexist on the market, that one won't be a threat to the other... before the launch of Windows 8, that is.

Right now Asus is gearing up to launch its Eee Pad Transformer 2 which will sport a quad-core SoC and Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich." However Shen said that Asus is still having difficulty bringing the retail price of its ultrabook down below Intel's suggested $1000 price point. The company reportedly won't achieve this price goal until Ivy Bridge CPUs become available in the first half of 2012. Ivy Bridge will also reportedly enable ultrabooks with 13.3-inch displays to sport a hefty resolution of 2560 x 1440, or rather, "retina quality."

In related ultrabook news, Taiwan-based supply chain makers claim that -- despite the uncertainty of its Personal Systems Group -- HP will release an ultrabook by the end of the year, followed by Dell with its own ultrabook offering sometime in Q1 2012. Sources state that Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has already started ODM production of HP's ultrabook whereas Wistron is currently designing a 14-inch model for Dell which will be unveiled at CES 2012 in January 2012.

Sources are also stating that Wistron is the ODM for Acer's 13.3-inch Aspire S3, and Compal Electronics is working on Acer's 15-inch version in addition to Lenovo's IdeaPad U300. Pegatron Technology is reportedly manufacturing the 11.6-inch UX21 and the 13-inch UX31 for Asus.

Sounds like it's going to be a busy six months.