Tech Strategy Trends

May 31 2011   3:55PM GMT

Can UltraBooks Stop the Rising Tablet Tide?

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Intel unveiled a new, thinner, sleeker netbook which it is rebranding as an ultrabook. Aside from assigning it a new marketing buzzword, though, I fail to see what sets an “ultrabook” apart from a “netbook” or why Intel expects users to drop nearly $1000 for an ultrabook when that same $1000 could buy two iPads.

According to a PCWorld article, “Subsequent ultrabooks will be based on upcoming processors code-named Ivy Bridge, to be released next year, and Haswell, to be released in 2013.” But, the first models of ultrabook will not have any different hardware specs or capabilities than existing netbooks.

Intel hasn’t placed all of its eggs in the ultrabook basket, though. It is also hard at work developing tablet architectures. Its a good thing too. The Nvidia quad-core Tegra looks impressive, and ARM predicts its processors will own half the mobile market by 2015.

Intel is pretty bold, though, with its own predictions, forecasting that its new “ultrabook” will make up 40 percent of mobile PC sales by the end of 2012. Good luck with that.

Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group, said, “ARM technology will try to go up into the notebook space. We will try to go down into their space. Let the best one win.”

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