Taiwanese industry analysists the DigiTimes have said that the success of the MacBook Air has prompted a number of manufacturers to plan ultra-thin notebooks based on Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge technology.
Chinese manufacturing giants Acer, Asus and Lenovo are said to be preparing to launch a range of 13.3 to 14-inch ultra-thin notebooks according to DigiTimes sources.
The new devices will debut before the end of the first quarter 2011, they said. Apple's innovative approach of assembling their own LCD backlight rather than opt for a fully-assembled module has apparently won some fans in the wider industry.
The construction technique means shaving 3-5mm off the thickness of the display panel and so the Chinese manufacturers were actively considering adopting a similar approach in the new products.
Acer is rumoured to be replacing the firm's high end thin and light TimelineX product range with the new devices based on Intel's Sandy Bridge platform, although the DigiTimes claimed that no name had yet been decided for the replacement range.
The move to further extend higher end notebooks into the ultra portable market will place further pressure on the ailing netbook product category.