Notebook manufacturers to play wait-and-see

Intel could face uphill battle in gaining Ultrabook support

Intel has deep pockets when it comes to promoting the chipmaker’s new Ultrabook concept of thin and light ultra portable netbooks, according to notebook insiders quoted by the DigiTimes.

With competition heating up in the mobile category, in the form of smartphones and tablet computers based not on Intel CPUs but ARM-based processors, it’s easy to see how Intel has a lot riding on the Ultrabook concept. Not the least since Windows 8 is set to be available in an ARM version which could spell doom to Intel’s dominance of notebook computers.

On this backdrop Intel is reportedly offering heavy incentives for notebook manufacturers to come on board with the firm’s fight back in the Ultrabook concept where Intel is hoping to make a stand with a brand, in much the same way that netbooks generally came to mean products based on Intel’s low-power Atom processors.

Notebook manufacturers having witnessed a downturn in notebook sales are apparently reluctant to join the Intel effort on the basis of the relatively high processor prices of the Ultrabook platform. The DigiTimes quoted notebook manufacturers as being ‘conservative’ towards launching new Ultrabook designs.

Asus Ultrabook, the high-end UX21 armed with a Core i7 processor, is considered to be the first product and is due to hit the channel in September. Notebook manufacturers are reportedly skeptical of the chances of hitting the $1,000 price point mentioned by Intel in the launch of the Ultrabook concept.

The UX21 is one such device that looks set to be priced substantially above that point. For now, notebook manufacturers appear content to see how Asus does with the UX21 while monitoring other developments, no doubt including rival mobile parts such as AMD’s new Llano Fusion APUs.

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