At Computex in Taipei, Intel is busy talking about a new class of laptops called Ultrabooks. They are describing Ultrabooks as having the attributes of a tablet, combined with the performance of a PC. Intel has laid down the law about what is required in order to make it into the Ultrabook specification. A system must be ultra responsive – which in most cases, that means it will run on an SSD and it has to be less than 0.8 inches thick. Intel is also requiring that all Ultrabooks cost under $1000. The systems could also have a battery life of up-to 10 hours.
If the success of the latest generation MacBook Air is any indication of what consumers want, than Ultrabooks should be a massive hit, especially at a sub $1000 price-point. As a matter of fact, Intel is so confident that Ultrabooks will take off, that they say that by the end of next year, 40% of consumer laptops will be Ultrabooks. It looks like Ultrabooks have the potential to be the next netbook.
Intel and Asus are already showing off the new Asus UX21 on the show-floor at Computex. With its aluminum body, 11″ display with a 1366×768 resolution, 2.2lbs weight, SSD drive, instant-on capabilities, mini-HDMI, and a sub $1000 price-point, the UX21 certainly seems like Asus is attempting to compete with the Air head-on. The UX21 does one-up the Air a bit by sporting USB 3.0 ports as opposed to old USB 2.0. Unfortunately, the UX21 wont be available until the 4th quarter of this year. And it’s likely that by then, the MacBook Air will have had its rumored refresh. That said, we can hardly wait to see all the potential beautiful and affordable Ultrabooks that will start showing up over the next couple of months.