It has been a few months already that Microsoft rolled out Windows 8 and it comes as no surprise that Intel is adjusting the specifications of what constitutes an Ultrabook.
Current Ultrabooks not only need to be of a certain dimension and weight, they also need to have some sort of SSD storage, a long battery life and instant-on capabilities.
The next generation of Ultrabooks, which will be based on the 4th generation Core architecture, Haswell, will need to integrate Wi-Di, Intel’s wireless display standard, a multipoint touchscreen and have a battery life of at least eight hours.
Adding new features will result in a higher average bill of material, something that will certainly irk OEMs who are eager to lower the average selling price of Ultrabooks to increase volume. Intel wants to reduce that ASP to $599 by the end of 2013, a target that is very ambitious, given that the current end-user pricing for Ultrabooks, at least in the UK, is nearer to around $800 (£499).
According to research firm IDC, Ultrabooks accounted for around one in every 200 laptops shipped last year worldwide. There’s another factor that may impede the growth of Ultrabooks in 2013, that’s the rise of so-called slimbooks, their close cousins, which may not be as powerful or as attractive but boosts a much lower ASP.