Home Industry Strategy Intel's Ultrabook to challenge MacBook Air Next week

Intel will hold a press conference in Sydney to explain how its Ultrabook technology will impact on consumers, ahead of the first Ultrabook commercial release in Australia.

Last August, Intel revealed a $US300 million investment to support technology innovation around the manufacturing of a new breed of super thin laptops, namely the Ultrabook, that would deploy 'Mac features' in a PC environment. According to Intel Ultrabooks are thin, light mainstream mobile computers, with long battery life, fast performance, rapid boot-up, and some tablets features such as touchscreen.

Manufacturer Acer is set to release its Aspire S3 Ultrabook by the end of October in Australia, while it is already available for purchase in the US with prices starting at US$900.

According to Wired.com journalist, Christopher Null, the Acer's Ultrabook is almost identical in size to the MacBook Air and features a very similar design, but can't compete with its rival on quick boot-up and screen resolution. 'Acer makes a bigger deal out of this than I would; while it's faster to wake from sleep than most laptops, it's not fast enough to be a deal-maker or -breaker,' Null wrote.

Other manufacturers, such as Asus, Lenovo and Toshiba, may shortly follow Acer's initiative, but products availability for Australia remains uncertain.

Intel media relations manager for mobile products, Becky Emmett, wrote in her blog that Intel was investing heavily in these new devices, in the belief that the Ultrabook will revolutionise the computing experience. 'Eventually you'll think of an Ultrabook as a tablet when you want it, a PC when you need it,' Emmett wrote.'This is an historic change that we believe will redefine the computing experience'.

She said that by late 2011 the market would start to see the gradual release of laptops less than 21mm thick with fast start up, extended battery life and security enabled. 'We are totally jazzed about all of this,' she said. 'If you think today's variety of computing devices is exciting, you ain't seen nothing yet'.

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