What does Intel mean by 'ultrabook'?

Intel has revealed plans for a new category of ultraportable laptops

Intel executive vice-president, Sean Maloney, and Asustek chairperson, Jonney Shih, on stage during a news conference at Computex in Taipei on 31 May, 2011.

Intel executive vice-president, Sean Maloney, and Asustek chairperson, Jonney Shih, on stage during a news conference at Computex in Taipei on 31 May, 2011.

At the Computex tradeshow in Taipei, Taiwan, chip giant Intel revealed plans for a new type of ultraportable notebook that the company has dubbed 'ultrabook' laptops.

'Ultrabook' notebooks will be less than 20mm thick and be cheaper than many ultraportable laptops currently on the market (they will cost less than $US1000, according to Intel).

Intel revealed plans for three generations of ultrabooks: A first wave in the second half of 2011 based on Intel's Sandy Bridge second generation Core i5 and i7 CPUs, and a second wave in the first half of next year based on the company's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors.

A final wave is due in 2013, based on a new Core processor design, code-named Haswell. Though the first ultrabooks due out on the market do not appear to offer specifications much different than current laptops, the low power consumption of Haswell chips will allow for even slimmer designs and longer battery life, Intel said.

Haswell will halve the power consumption of Intel chips compared to today's laptops, Intel said, enabling thinner designs and longer battery life.

Asus has revealed that an ultrabook dubbed the UX21 will be out by the end of the year. It will have a unibody design and be 18mm at its thickest point. It will support up to a Core i7 processor and comes with an 11.6-inch display, USB 3.0 and mini-HDMI.

Intel has high hopes for Ultrabooks: It expects they will account for 40 percent of consumer laptop sales by the end of next year.

Reporting by James Niccolai, Michael Kan, Ian Paul

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