Intel throwing money at laptop manufacturers to entice them to develop Ultrabooks

Intel throwing money at laptop manufacturers to entice them to develop Ultrabooks

Summary: If first you don't succeed, then spend more money. That seems to be the strategy Intel is taking to finally gain some traction with ultra-portable laptops.

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If first you don't succeed, then spend more money. That seems to be the strategy Intel is taking to finally gain some traction with ultra-portable laptops. Outside the MacBook Air, these notebooks haven't been mainstream hits, and evidently Intel may have some concern about its forthcoming Ultrabook platform providing underwhelming sales as well.

How do we know? Laptop vendors have been telling DigiTimes that the chip giant is lavishing resources on securing top-tier support for Ultrabooks, which Intel hopes will comprise 40 percent of the consumer notebook market by the end of 2012. Considering the first Ultrabook, the Asus UX21, won't debut until September, that's a heady goal to achieve. And given that the pricing for Ultrabooks is expected to be in the $1,000 range, it may be impossible.

Throwing gobs of marketing money toward notebook makers isn't necessarily spurring them into frantic activity, however, as many tell DigiTimes they are still waiting to see how the UX21 sells before fully jumping on-board. For its part, Intel has recently released three Sandy Bridge dual-core processors designed for Ultrabooks -- the 1.7GHz Core i5-2557M, 1.7GHz Core i7-2637M and 1.8GHz Core i7-2677M -- and using just 17 watts of power. It also has a pair of new Celeron CPUs due in the upcoming months for the platform.

The Ultrabook pricing estimates are a potential sticking point, considering most buyers are looking to spend less than $1,000 on a laptop. And if they're planning on spending less but want the most portability, AMD's Zacate platform is major competition at around $500 for systems. Then there's the tablet PC phenomenon, which will continue to siphon off money that might have been spent on traditional laptops, including ultra-portables. (Witness the decline of the netbook.)

If Intel is indeed offering significant resources to induce laptop vendors to create Ultrabooks, does this mean the new platform is already in trouble? Are you planning to buy an Ultrabook when they become available? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Hardware, Intel, Laptops, Mobility

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20 comments
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  • $1000 won't sell

    considering sub-$600 range for mainstream.
    FADS_z
    • $1000 will sell *only* if the quality/design of product is on par with MBA

      @FADS_z: ... and this is not really possible to be done by these multiple laptop manufacturers that Intel pushes to do MBA conceptual copies.<br><br>And many of these laptop manufactures are smart enough to understand that they are not yet competitors to Apple in engineering field. Even the biggest and richest struggled for years trying to release competitive product (see Dell, for example).<br><br>So the price of the final-result machines should be way lower than thousand dollars for this platform to be alive, not thousand dollars. These machines will be worse than MBA, for for lower price it will meet some audience.
      DDERSSS
      • RE: Intel throwing money at laptop manufacturers to entice them to develop Ultrabooks

        @DeRSSS
        Let me refill your glass of kool-aid for you.
        MarkWB
      • RE: Intel throwing money at laptop manufacturers to entice them to develop Ultrabooks

        @DeRSSS

        Are you comparing the UX21 to that overpriced machine running a 1.4GHz Core2, 2GB RAM and a pathetic 800MHz FSB?
        Really?
        12312332123
  • RE: Intel throwing money at laptop manufacturers to entice them to develop Ultrabooks

    I'd buy one at $1500, but... I need at least a 13 inch screen, like my Adamo.
    SeanBlader
    • Why oh why...

      @SeanBlader

      You bought an Adamo?
      LP212
  • INVENTORS - DO NOT TRUST INTEL!!!

    INVENTORS - DO NOT TRUST INTEL <br>I invented a CPU cooler - 3 times better than best - better than water. Intel have (had) major CPU cooling problems - "Intel's microprocessors were generating so much heat that they were melting" (iht.com) - try to talk to them - they send my communications to my competitor & will not talk to me.<br><br>Winners of major 'Corporate Social Responsibility' awardS!!!<br><br>Huh!!!!<br><br>When did RICO get repealed?"<br><br>INVENTORS - DO NOT TRUST INTEL!!!<br><br>BTW, I have the evidence - my competitor gave it to me.<br><br>BBTW, I am prepared to apologise to Intel if; <br> They can show that the actions were those of a single individual in the company, acting outside corporate policy, and:<br> They gain redress on my behalf.
    Stuart21@...
    • Invent something better, BeefStu.

      @Stuart21@...
      I don't think your highly inaccurate statement on one of thousands of tech review sites will offend the most powerful chip producer on the planet.

      If you think Intels run hot, you've obviously never heard of AMD.
      Z3R0D4Y
      • LOL.

        @Yiu Korochko ZING!
        Bates_
  • Sandy bridge processors is not good enough for ultra

    If you want an ultra book that is light (in weight and consumption) but powerful enough, wait for ivy bridge. At 27nm it will be a rule changer for portable equipment
    okennejc
  • 1,000 bux is doable

    But it would have to be a miracle device; indestructible, true quad core performance, ludicrous memory like 16 GB, at least 1/2 TB SSD storage, integrated wireless peripherals, (no dongles) 8 hour battery life...

    Remember what $2,000 bought back in 1983? A monochrome 480 X 320 screen, an 80286 and 10 MB hard drive, weighing in at 8 pounds...

    Yeah, $1,000 is doable. I like my HP core 2 duo lappy, but it'd be nice to have something lighter.
    pgit
    • Welcome to Earth

      @pgit

      Portability costs cash. You can build better desktops for cheaper than anything you'll get in a laptop. You want something lighter? You pay for it.

      Look at the MBA. You seriously want a PC to have that huge a hardware gap over the same price for you to pay the SAME price? That is unimaginably unrealistic.
      Z3R0D4Y
      • unimaginably unrealistic..

        @Yiu Korochko or unintelligibly facetious. :D
        pgit
  • RE: Intel throwing money at laptop manufacturers to entice them to develop Ultrabooks

    Why an ultra-book? That is the question! I would like to purchase a nice notebook/laptop PC. I am going to. Now is the question of size and function. I will work that out.

    I also do not believe in "smart phones". The only thing smart about them is the way in which the cell phone companies have used them to sell data services. A small phone is all that is needed. Then you can carry it like you used to in your hat band. A tablet is your "smarts". We need the Possum. A tablet that your small phone slides into. Then all your pictures or data using activities can be actually seen on a decent screen. The clouds can be seen on a decent screen. 10 inches is fabulously accepted.
    Then a laptop for more advanced and more power consuming activities is the answer. Technology will always deliver this power as light as is practical. You also need a screen that compliments this power and that is visible without going blind. A notebook/laptop that works with the cell phone and the tablet.

    So where is this marriage? It does not exist because you can sell more crap with the introduction of "market frustration". It is like sizing a bag of chips. Small is too little so you sell giant. Large isn't a good buy so you settle for the little better buy medium. Yet that is a bit much.

    Intel should cross communicate chips designed for specific devices and commit. Their partners should realize the "smart phone" is now peaking and they need to deliver real tools. This laptop focus is in the right direction for a serious solid market but it must deliver the right product for the money. What an opportunity to focus on complementary products rather than frustrating the market place.
    2feral
  • RE: Intel throwing money at laptop manufacturers to entice them to develop Ultrabooks

    As a concept Ultrabooks rock. The future is a pencil thin, light weight full powered computer. Slates will continue to usefully fill a niche market, but why would you want an oversized mobile phone when you can have the power of a full pc with long battery life and a complete pc that will run all your software and leave you in command rather than your phone company? at $500 I'd buy one tomorrow, at $1000 it better wow me.
    Aleronica
  • $1000 for a REAL CPU, I'll buy one.

    Intel is talking about real computers, not a cell phone CPU with a big screen. Don't confuse an Ultrabook with a tablet computer. These will be able to do things desktops can, like video editing (do that on your tablet), and 3D video games. I might wait for their Ivy Bridge CPU, though. They'll be even better.
    MarvinDouma@...
  • RE: Intel throwing money at laptop manufacturers to entice them to develop Ultrabooks

    I'd buy one if they had screens that you could use outdoors. Like the Kindle.
    occupant
  • UltraBooks whats the point

    now this ultra portability is a load of crap too me what happened to normal regular laptops are they all of a sudden too heavy for our frail hands too carry why do u need a laptop as thin as a pencil what does that prove ooh its lightweight now come so im going to be standing and using it to lengths that i feel the difference .... ah well ... just my 2 cents
    Jetboss
    • Because there's been a change in use patterns...

      @Jetboss Old laptops were 'portable computers'.. you carried them from one place to another, but used them fairly statically... set them down for the day and use them, then move to the next place.<br><br>The current trend is to have a computing device with you all the time - and for some - tablets cover that nicely - but others want something beefier - but still as light as possible.<br><br>Netbooks were the first shot at this but have been creeping up in size and horsepower (and price). The MacBook Air was a flop at its original $1800 but at $1000, it's in the 'tolerable' range considering it's not an Atom based system.<br><br>If Intel can come up with something beefier, with a good battery life in the $500-$750 range, it'll sell.
      TheWerewolf
  • I'm confused...

    If Apple can make a slim laptop for $999 using Intel's *existing* processors - why can't anyone else? Looking at the breakdown of a MacBook Pro, it's not exactly filled with pixie dust and unicorn horns.. just good engineering.

    And I'm pretty sure Apple doesn't have all the good hardware engineers out there. Maybe Intel should spend money on free courses on hardware design for everyone else...
    TheWerewolf