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With Inte's Ivy Bridge now showing up until mid year, manufacturers may focus on Sandy Bridge instead.

CES to ‘launch’ deluge of last year’s ultrabooks?

Intel ‘ultrabooks’ are expected to appear in force at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week with a number of first tier manufacturers expected to show off their new thin and light notebooks.

If CES 2011 was all about tablets, CES 2012 looks set to get back to basics with a revival of the notebook form factor, albeit one which has been likened to Intel’s attempt to get the Macbook Air form factor to a broader audience.

Intel and an array of brands including Toshiba, Asus, HP, Acer and Lenovo, will no doubt be hoping that this CES ‘fad’ will do a better job of translating to consumer demand than the deluge of not-iPad tablets last year.

At an event in London in November last year, CES research director Shawn DuBravac told journalists that the between 30 and 50 new ultrabook models will be launched at CES. That’s a little more modest than the estimated 100 tablets that arrived last year but it’s enough to mean ultrabooks are the hot category of the show.

Intel is also expected to at least talk about the next-generation of architecture ‘Ivy Bridge’ if not actually launch the range of chips at the show. That said availability is only expected by the middle of the year.

CES is somewhat infamous for showing off a great deal of products which don’t arrive for many months but the importance of Ivy Bridge for the ultrabook category, offering significantly better power consumption, could mean manufacturers choose instead to talk up ultrabooks based on the former Sandy Bridge instead.

Yet many of the manufacturers making Sandy Bridge-based ultrabooks have already launched their devices so there remains a question mark over exactly what genuinely new devices will make an appearance. We’ll have to see.

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