As Computex kicked off yesterday in Taipei, Intel announced the debut of an entirely new category of laptops called Ultrabooks, which will combine the best qualities of MacBook Air and those of iPad.
Ultrabooks, a laptop-tablet hybrid, will be less than 20 mm (0.8 inches) thick, featuring touch screens, instant log on and ultra-sharp visual images, selling for less than $1,000. It would be the sleekest laptop in the marketplace after Apple's MacBook Air 15 model that ranges from .11 to .68 inches.
The 'Ultrabook' systems are powered by 22nm Ivy Bridge 2nd generation Intel Core processors, allowing a thin, light and elegant laptop.
The first Ultrabooks are expected to be available for the 2011 winter holiday shopping season.
The Asus UX21, introduced at Computex, is a thin and stylish 11.6-inch laptop, powered by an Intel Core i5 CPU, weighing at 2.2 pounds. Its similarity to a tablet comes from the speedy storage and powerful CPU.
With the advent of tablets, the whole industry is reshuffling, including the microprocessors and including operating systems, said AsusTek Chairman Jonney Shih, NPR reported.
The boundaries between notebooks, tablets and smartphones are blurring, and laptops have to evolve quickly to respond and become ultra-thin, ultra-light and ultra-responsive, Shih said.
Intel plans to shift 40% of laptops to the Ultrabook design by the end of 2012. In the future, Ultrabooks will be powered by Intel's next generation of chips that use even less power, with thinner and lighter bodies.