Are Intel Ultrabooks the future?

Posted by Sylvie Barak

Ultrabooks are the future, according to Intel, but if you're more of an Apple fan you may be getting a bit of "back to the future" deja-vu with most new designs heavily modeled on the Macbook Air.

At its recent Developer Conference in San Francisco, Intel made a big deal over its Ultrabooks, telling a roomful of Mac hacks the slimmer, lighter designs were the future. The PC's future that is, since Apple
seems to have nailed
the anorexic PC design a couple of years ago now.

Are Intel Ultrabooks the future?Of course, Intel did say that the Ultrabook would be revolutionary not in resembling the Macbook Air, but in being "affordable" at a price point of "sub $1000" - two statements which now appear to be in doubt.

According to dodgy (times) sources in Taiwan, Intel's partners have been blowing off steam this past week at statements made by the chipmaker declaring cheap, thin computing for all, even as Intel ups its margins on the hardware.

Device makers now say it may prove impossible for them to come in at the sub $1000 mark, and with Macbook Airs already costing as little as $999, one would have to be a real die-hard PC fan to opt for an Acer copy.

It's not as if the specs are wildly different, either. Take for instance the lowest spec Macbook air currently available at $999. It sports a core i5 processor, 11.6 inch screen, with 1366 x 768 resolution, weighing in at 2.38 pounds, boasting 64GB of flash storage and 2GB of DDR3 onboard memory.

Intel UltrabooksNow let's take a look at the rumored specs and pricing for the upcoming Acer S3. It too comes in at a reported price of $1075, sports a core i5, dumps the solid state flash drive for a 320GB HDD (or an
optional 20GB SSD), has a slightly more impressive 4GB of RAM (bumping up to 4GB on the Air costs $100, so that takes us to the same price) and has a bigger 13.3 inch screen.

See what we mean, not much in it, is there? And that's if Acer manages to deliver the S3 at the rumored price.

Do these PCs look slimmer and sleeker than any previous iterations? Absolutely. Do they pack a performance punch while delivering stellar battery life? Purportedly. Will they offer a cheaper alternative to already available MacBook Airs?

Not bloody likely.

But for those who would never been seen dead with a Mac, perhaps that's a pretty appealing offer.