Intel revealed a new category of laptops called Ultrabooks at the Computex trade show earlier this year. Intel's idea of an Ultrabook is a thin and light machine measuring 20mm (around 0.8 inches) at its thickest point and powered by the chip maker's 22nm Ivy Bridge processors, with a sub-$1,000 price tag. It's sort of a cross between a notebook and a tablet, and with a holiday launch rapidly approaching, Intel is looking to aggressively promote the form factor in hopes that notebook makers will jump on board.
Intel's goal is for its Ultrabook concept to snag 40 percent of the notebook market by the end of 2012, but according to DigiTimes, notebook vendors are weary of developing Ultrabook products for multiple reasons. One of these is the fact that Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) ultra-thin line in 2009 never dominated the market like Intel hoped it would. Perhaps a bigger reason, however, is the challenge of launching an Ultrabook at under $1,000 with a pricey Ivy Bridge processor inside.
To help alleviate pricing concerns among first-tier notebook vendors, Intel has committed to "providing a significant budget to support its partners launching Ultrabooks," DigiTimes says. At least one vendor is willing to give Ultrabooks a go, and that's Asus. Asus plans to launch its UX21 Ultrabook in September, which will sport an 11.6-inch screen, second generation Core i5 or i7 processor, USB 3.0, SSD, and measure 17mm thin at its thickest point.