Intel’s vision of the Ultrabook consists of a thin, elegant machine, powered by the new 22nm Ivy Bridge processors, which costs under $1,000.
The Ultrabook should bring all the benefits of tablets but with the performance and capabilities of today’s laptops – a marriage between the MacBook Air and the iPad, if you will.
Intel plans to deliver the Ivy Bridge to the market by the end of the first quarter of 2012, and shift 40 percent of consumer laptops to the Ultrabook design by the end of that year. In 2013 and beyond the Ultrabooks will be powered by Intel’s next generation of chips, codenamed Haswell, which will use even less power, enabling manufacturers to produce even thinner and lighter laptops.
The first Ultrabooks, however, will be based on Intel’s current Sandy Bridge architecture, and one of them was already introduced at Computex: the Asus UX21. Don’t expect anything revolutionary: it’s a thin and stylish 11.6-inch laptop, powered by an Intel Core i5 CPU and sporting an USB 3.0 port, a mini-HDMI port, SSD storage and weighing at 2.2 pounds. The speedy storage and powerful CPU do give it several features that make it similar to a tablet: for example, Asus claims the UX21 can resume from sleep mode in two seconds.