Intel 'Ultrabook' reference designs released to OEMs

Intel 'Ultrabook' reference designs released to OEMs

Summary: Intel's reference designs for its new 'Ultrabook' systems will price them cheaper than Apple's MacBook Air systems.

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Intel has revealed the reference spec for its new 'Ultrabook' systems in an attempt to allay OEM fears that these will be high-priced niche devices.

A reference spec for two devices has been unveiled:

  • An 18mm thick device with a screen size between 11-13-inches with a reference BOM (bill of materials) of between $475 - $650
  • A 21mm thick device with a 14-17-inch screen with a reference BOM (bill of materials) of between $493 - $710

This price point is interesting since it would mean that the cheaper 'ultrabooks' would retail for less than the $1,000 MacBook Air mark.

'Ultrabooks' are to fill in the gap between tablets and notebooks - something the size and weight of a tablet, but the performance of a notebook.

According to the current rumors, these systems will make use of module-based components as opposed to soldering components directly onto the motherboard (to increase flexibility and reduce cost) and will feature aluminum-based unibody chassis or fiberglass chassis.

Does this design sound a bit like Apple's MacBook Air? It does to me, and Asus's prototype UX21 also looks a lot like the MacBook Air;

One question remains - is there a market for 'ultrabooks'? Netbooks sales have taken a big dive over the past year or so, and Apple has been selling millions of iPads ...

[poll id="667"]

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Intel, Laptops, Mobility

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14 comments
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  • Ultra, Note, Net, Lap, Lug, Ummph, Gah, whatever...

    It's a Pricey Netbook.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate!
    • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate!

      How in the world can you call it a netbook when it will be sporting a Sandy Bridge processor? (And next year Ultrabooks will be using Ivy Bridge processors).
      josh92
    • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate!

      So's the MacBook Air. Just think of this as the PC equivalent. The only thing MacBook Airs had over Win laptops was the cool appearance. Now we can get the superior functionality of a Win laptop, but with the nice form-factor of a MacBook Air. It's a win.
      lindsaytheflint
    • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate!

      Agree. Laptops are meant to be portable. Why all the 17-20" sizes? They should be called desktops with batteries (DWBs!).

      And how do you get work done on a tablet? Soon you're buying an external keyboard and some sort of stand for it.

      Netbooks are the way to go, and a lot of people had great interest in them, when they were small, had great battery life, and were $200 (with Linux!). Netbook price points were pushed up into regular desktop notebooks .. and surprise, less sales.
      jvin248
  • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

    As long as it has Thunderbolt!
    hjenkins1
    • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

      @hjenkins1
      Why? Not condemning, just curious.
      I use USB3 and that is actually more than I need ATM....
      Have plenty of peripherals too.
      Not seeing it for TB....
      rhonin
      • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

        @rhonin If you want to fan out Display Port, SATA, USBx, PCI-E from one connector out of the notebook / tablet, TB is the answer. Think about the convenience factor and user friendliness. In the office (or at home), all the peripheral devices needed (monitor, speaker, keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner, graphic card, HDD) can be pre-connected, the end-user only needs to hook up one cable in the morning, and un-connected one cable before leaving for home. The user friendliness will be so much more improved. One can argue: why not connecting all the peripherals wirelessly. This will incur a lot of interferences and use much more energy than the wired connection given the same bandwidth.
        PWsY
  • HMM

    Again, look who was first to come up with the ultrabook? imagine a world without Apple LOL...
    Hasam1991
    • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

      @Hasam1991

      You won't need to imagine for much longer. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your level of perspective and maliciousness) Steve Jobs is knocking on death's door and the world will soon get to see what it will be like without the icon visionary Apple brand. (Sure Apple the company will hang around for a while but without Jobs I don't see it lasting too long.)
      josh92
      • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

        @josh92 <br>When Mr. Jobs passes away? Possibly like what happened to Sony when Mr. Morita passed away. The company was taken over by lawyers and bean counters. Quality (formerly legendary) service and products both were thrown right out the window as quickly as those costly concepts could be disposed of, with liabilities strictly limited. Stampings replaced castings, plastic replaced glass. So lets see how she's gonna act.. Not an Apple-head here but I hope Mr. Jobs is with us for a long time yet.
        opcom
  • Absolutely. My next purchase will be an ultrabook.

    Still undecided on the OEM so step up fellas...
    Johnny Vegas
  • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

    What I want in an ultrabook:<br><br>-A ULV processor that is as fast as a 2GHz core 2 duo which is, at the moment, good enough for all my applications.<br>-Graphics that handle 1080P video online. I don't care about gaming characteristics.<br>-A sturdy build allowing very very little or no flex to the keyboard or the high quality led back-lit screen.<br>-Good battery life of atleast 5 hours with Wifi.<br>-VGA( all projectors need this in my college), HDMI, USB 3.0 and ethernet (my dorm has only ethernet as the wifi is too weak). If you cannot fit them in, common decency would be supply the necessary adapters FOR FREE.<br>-No shiny surfaces. I hate highly reflective surfaces decked out in flashy or garish colors ( only grey or black please or other dull colors).<br>-HD webcams and good sound with head phones.<br>-Backlit keyboards optional( Most manufacturers are going to cut this out for sure). <br><br>Keep the price at around 800 euros for a spinning HDD.<br>Give us an m-sata slot if you want us to buy the product and INTEL, FLOOD THE MARKET WITH THE SSDs please.<br><br>This is only an opinion concerning the elements in the design that I AM PARTICULAR ABOUT.<br><br>BTW, MY IDEAL SCREEN SIZE is 12.5 inches with a resolution of 1366 by 768. But for the professionals, supply them with a 14 inch with 1440 by 900 or a 1600 by 900 screen. As the weight is going to be low, I don't think there should be many complaints.<br><br>I am not looking for a Ginsu. A chubby, even 21mm thickness from back to front does not bother me if the laptop does not twist and shatter in my hands.<br><br>This is only my opinion.
    idiot101
    • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

      @idiot101 <br>For me add gaming, <br>A 10+ hour batter (my UL has that now)<br>Backlit keyboard <br>Optional high performance SSD<br>Resolution 1680x1050<br>I'll give it a look.....
      rhonin
  • RE: Intel 'Ultrabook' reference design released to OEMs

    I am waiting for Haswell, that will make the Ultrabook king of the market IMO
    PriMinister