Don't point the finger at Acer or Asus if Intel's Ultrabook initiative fails to gain traction. These are the same two companies largely responsible for popularizing netbooks a few years ago, and now the two are turning their attention to the Ultrabook category. Both companies will look to ship 200,000 Ultrabooks a month in the fourth quarter.
Things are about to heat up in a big way in the handheld mobile space, a sector that's currently dominated by ARM. Intel has long said it plans to push its platforms into smartphones and tablets, and the Santa Clara chip maker took a gigantic step towards that goal by getting Google to agree to optimize future versions of Android for Atom processors. Should ARM be worried?
It's hard to imagine an Ultrabook party without Acer in attendance. Like Pink, Acer decided to get this party started and today announced its first Ultrabook model at the IFA consumer electronics show in Germany, the Aspire S3. Acer's emphasizing convenience with its new notebook, and one of the company's biggest claims is a 50-day battery live via Acer Green Instant On technology.
Are we going to have to petition Congress to change Thursday to Ultrabookday? If the flood of announcements keeps up like this, we might just have to take that drastic step. First, Lenovo unveiled three different Ultrabook models… Wait, did we say first? Actually, Toshiba managed to squeak in under the wire and yank the curtains off of its Ultrabook prior to Lenovo's announcement, making the Portégé Z830 series the first Intel-based MacBook Air clones out of the gate. Officially, at least.
Don't fight it folks, Intel's Ultrabook revolution has already begun and is getting a boost today from Lenovo, which just unveiled three Ultrabook models. These include the IdeaPad U300s, U300, and U400. All three are luxury laptops that attempt to fuse style with performance in a new breed of notebook Intel envisions taking over the mobile computing scene.
Rumors and whispers abound about the upcoming Ultrabook line of notebooks – you know, the ones that Intel hopes will be MacBook Air killers – but despite all the talk, we haven’t seen any hard facts as far as components or price points go. That may have changed today, thanks to a new product page on an Italian retailer’s site that appears to have gone up a bit prematurely.
The big question facing Ultrabooks right now is whether or not notebook makers will be able to sell them for less than $1,000, as Intel is encouraging them to do. To help manufacturers drop retail pricing to three digits, Intel reportedly agreed to a 20 percent drop in processor pricing for Ultrabooks, and it looks like Asus will respond with at least one model that dips below a grand (and at least one that doesn't).
Ah, fads. Without those brief, yet intense, bursts of consumer excitement, the majority of us may have never heard awesome tidbits like the Pet Rock, bell-bottom pants, the Macarena, Tickle Me Elmo or Trapper Keepers. If you listen to Acer chairman JT Wang, one of our useful modern electronics is soon to join those fabled ranks. That’s right, while the pundits are busy calling tablet PCs the best thing since sliced bread, Wang thinks the whole iPad deal is overblown. The future lies in Ultrabooks!
Acer isn't pitching its new TravelMate Timeline 8481T as an Ultrabook, but maybe that's because Intel is still finalizing its list of qualifications. As it stands, the 8481T is a 14-inch ultraportable that weighs just 3.7 pounds and struts around with a 0.87-inch profile, and that's with the 8-cell battery Acer says will provide up to 13 hours of run time. And though the LCD measures 14 inches, Acer trimmed the bezel by a third so that it would fit in a 13.3-inch footprint.
The only way you're getting a system with Intel's Thunderbolt interface at the moment is to venture over to the dark side and pick up one of the supported Mac models. Don't want to go that route? Your only other option is to hang tight until Thunderbolt strikes Windows PCs, which could start with Intel's upcoming Ultrabook form factor.