Intel says 75 new ultrabook designs are on the way

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Intel's Ultrabook has been around for a while, but so far sales have remained lower than Santa Clara anticipated. 

When Intel first began touting the Ultrabook concept, we were promised impressively low prices for the thin machines. However, when the devices finally hit the market, reality sunk in as the price was far more than originally expected.

Intel says 75 new ultrabook designs are comingIndeed, one of the cheapest Ultrabooks you can buy today is priced at a cool $800.

Fortunately, Intel is now claiming that 75 new ultrabooks are on the way, with pricing for the new systems set to start off at $699 - making them roughly $100 cheaper than the cheapest machine currently available.

Intel offers no specific timeframe on when the new designs will surface. However, Intel's Kirk Skaugen, general manager for the PC client group, says some the new designs will run Windows 8 and feature touchscreens.

Essentially, this means that at least some of the new ultrabook designs won't land until later this year when Windows 8 is expected to launch. Intel has been investing heavily to get companies to develop new tech for ultrabooks to the tune of $300 million.

Skaugen said, "I think we can deliver the best of a tablet, and the best in what (users) know in a notebook."

Intel has also kicked off an extensive PR campaign by creating "experience zones" in retail stores, which aims to set the ultrabook apart from the typical notebook.

"Intel plans to ensure ultrabooks have a consistent experience. And if it's too thick it won't be called an ultrabook," Skaugen said. "It won't be allowed to be called an ultrabook because ultrabook is a trademark of Intel and we can protect the trademark."
 
Despite Intel's relative optimism, J.P. Morgan analyst Mike Moskowitz believes Windows-based Ultrabooks won't become "meaningful enough" to drive significant growth in the notebook PC market until at least 2013. 

Nevertheless, Intel has little choice but to push its Ultrabook concept forward, as it prepares for an onslaught of uber-thin ARM-powered laptops running Windows 8 - which  are likely to hit store shelves by the end of 2012.