Intel introduces the Ultrabook category for ultraportable laptops under $1000

asus ux21

Intel has introduced a new buzzword for thin and light laptops with next-generation Intel processors. The company describes an “ultrabook” as a laptop with “tablet-like” features including a slim size and sub-$1000 price tag.

The first ultrabooks will measure less than 0.8 inches thick and use second generation Intel Core chips. Intel says the Asus UX21 which was unveiled yesterday is one of the first examples of what it considers an ultrabook. When the company’s new Ivy Bridge 22nm chips hit the streets next year ultrabooks will make the jump to those low power processors.

While Intel is spinning ultrabooks as a class of product, the truth is that thin and light laptops have been available for years. It’s nice that Intel is pushing ultraportables with reasonably affordable price tags — but those have been available for the last few years. In fact, I’ve reviewed a number of laptops in the last two years which weigh less than 3 pounds and cost less than $600 including the Asus Eee PC 1215B, HP Pavilion dm1z, Lenovo IdeaPad U150, Dell Inspiron 11z, and Asus UL20A, among others.

Really, the whole ultrabook concept just sounds like Intel trying to convince people to buy laptops that are more powerful than netbooks at 2-3 times the cost. Id’ be a lot more excited if Intel said the category was for laptops under $500 rather than notebooks under $1000.

Still, Intel is setting ambitious goals for the platform, claiming that ultrabooks could make up 40 percent of consumer laptop sales by the end of 2012.

  • Michaelpaulpenang

    The word ultraportable now refers to the rigion of 600grams ie your ipad2 and other tablets. The Asus UL20A and 1215B at 1.5KG’s are all monster weight.

    So, in terms of weight, notebooks and netbooks have not really improved in the past 3 years really.

    • Anonymous

      You’re comparing apples to oranges again…

      Never mind the difference between ARM and x86, the iPad doesn’t have things like a physical keyboard.  Really, add the accessories you have to carry with the iPad at the very least for any comparison to weight.  Remember the iPad doesn’t even have USB ports or card readers built in and the battery isn’t user replaceable.

      Sealed designs are inherently leaner and the iPad also doesn’t have things like a case fan among other differences that lop side the weight comparison.

      And it’s netbooks that haven’t really improved in 3 years!  Notebooks have been improving, as Intel’s regular chips are under a 2 year upgrade schedule but ATOMs were under a 5 year schedule.

      • Michaelpaulpenang

        dont just compare ipads. Tablets refer to the Transformer and the Slider as well, both have keyboards and usb ports. Like I said, noteboks and netbooks have ot improved in weight at all in the past 3 years.

      • Anonymous

        Did you even bother looking up the weight of the Asus Transformer with the keyboard dock?

        It’s 1.3kg!!!

        I’m not making stuff up Michaelpaulpenang, I’m telling you how it actually is!

  • http://twitter.com/borax99 Alain Chappaz

    Smacks of CULV rehash to me. I small a marketing disaster in the making here.

  • Ruudboek

    Another intel cluv with a 3dmark06 of close to nothing? By the time that this comes out ARM will be faster with its Tegra 3 and consume less energy.