Don't rush to kick your current laptop to the curb and plunk down money for a new iPad or other tablet computer for your business: there's a new breed of notebook computer coming that will combine the best of both worlds, Intel promises. It's called the ultrabook and the chipmaker predicts it will account for 40 percent of the laptop market by the end of next year.
Makers of the laptop PCs are still reeling from the hit to market share they took from the iPad and the Android tablets that followed in its wake. They're hoping that a radical makeover of the notebook category can save them from becoming computing history , as some experts predict.
Intel introduced its vision for this new mobile computer, with ultra-thin design (under 0.8 inches thick), light weight, prices under $1,000 and tablet-style features such as touch screens and the ability to quickly start and call up websites, at the Computex trade show in Taiwan this week.
To enable this transformation, Intel said it would make significant changes in its roadmap, or development plan, for the chips that will power this new generation of computer.
The Ultrabook, a name now trademarked by Intel, will be shaped by Moore's law, which states that computing power doubles approximately every two years, and silicon technology in the same way they have shaped the traditional PC for the past 40 years, the company said.
Systems based on the new Intel chip technology will be available for this year's Christmas shopping season. By the end of 2012, ultrabooks will make up 40 percent of the consumer laptop market segment, said Sean Maloney, Intel's executive vice president.
"Computing is taking many forms," Maloney said. "Technology innovation is a catalyst and we believe the changes Intel is making to its roadmaps, together with strong industry collaboration, will bring about an exciting change in personal computing.
The Silicon Valley giant held out similar hopes for its ultra-low-power Atom chips and the netbook category it helped to popularize in 2008, but failed to back it with a sustained marketing push, industry experts said. Intel promises a more vigorous effort this time.
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