Today’s ultrabooks are thin and light laptops which weigh around 3 pounds or less, have the latest Intel processors, solid state disks, and quick-boot and fast resume technology. Most of them have screens that are 13.3 inches or smaller.
Next year that will change. We’ve Samsung is already planning to build an “ultrabook” with a 13 inch screen and optical disc drive. Now DigiTimes reports that Acer is planning to launch an ultrabook with a 15 inch display.
Intel coined the phrase ultrabook to define a new class of thin, light, and powerful computers. In a lot of ways they’re what netbooks would have been if the MacBook Air had hit the market before the Eee PC. They offer the power of a full-sized laptop combined with the portability of a netbook.
They’re cheaper than the ultraportable notebooks of 2005, but with prices ranging from $700 to $1500 they’re not exactly comparable to a $300 HP Mini.
But Intel has also said that it expects the category to grow and change in the coming years. Future ultrabooks could look more like tablets than laptops. Personally, I expect that the category consists of little more than a buzzword and a reference platform.
I doubt we’ll be talking about ultrabooks at all next year. We’ll just be talking about laptops, tablets, and other computing devices. And with luck, some of them will weigh less than 3 pounds and sell for $700 or less.