Intel is predicting that ultrabooks could make up as much as 40 percent of all laptop sales by the end of 2012. That’s a pretty bold guess, considering there are only a handful of notebooks that meet Intel’s definition of an ultrabook on the market today. But that could change by January. PC Pro reports that between 30 and 50 new ultrabooks could launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

An ultrabook is a thin and light laptop which typically weighs around 3 pounds or less and is less than 0.8 inches thick. They tend to have high performance (and low power) solid state disks, quick-resume technology, and the latest Intel Core i-series chips.

Eventually Intel hopes to add tablet features to the platform including touchscreen displays.

This isn’t the first time Intel has pushed a platform for portable laptops which offer better-than-netbook performance. A few years ago the company launched a line of ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) chips for laptops. They haven’t really grabbed much market share, which is at least in part because they fill an odd niche – they can calculate circles around a netbook-class Intel Atom chip, but they’re not as powerful as the processors found in most laptop computers sold today.

Ultrabooks are designed not just to be portable, but also powerful. Thus Intel and its partners are hoping to justify the relatively high cost of these computer by positioning them as the only laptop a customer needs.

Right now the cheapest ultrabooks still cost $799 and up, which makes them fairly expensive for laptops. But as more PC makers enter the ultrabook space the cost of components will fall which will help bring down prices… assuming customers buy enough of the thin and light computers to make a dent.

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7 replies on “As many as 50 ultrabooks coming in 2012”

  1. I’d be more interested in more competition at the more-than-a-netbook end of the market. I have enjoyed my Thinkpad x100e, which was about $450 when I bought it, and would happily upgrade to something with a little more power and battery life (720p video and 6-8 hours battery) for the same price.

    Also, how robust are these ultrabooks? I use my laptop several hours a day for work, and play, and I would be concerned if thin and light also meant fragile.

  2. C’mon, someone make nifty advancements in microprocessor design that’ll get a discrete GPU that’ll fit in an ultrabook!  I wanna do some midrange gaming!

    1. We’ve yet to see what AMD will offer in the Ultra Thin & Light categories, they just won’t be able to call them Ultrabooks, but should put a greater emphasis on graphical performance.

      Intel, however, should start to get interesting after the Ivy Bridge update.  Though we may have to wait till 2013 and the Haswell update before Ultrabooks really take off.

  3. Hopefully one of them will have a 10″ inch screen or an 11.6″ inch screen with the thinnest bezel in the world.

    1. Me too. I want something that’s as small as a netbook but doesn’t have an Atom or equivalent CPU. It doesn’t have to be super thin. Maybe an inch thick.

      1. That’s what I’m waiting for. Hopefully something like that will appear in 2012 as well.

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