I wrote about the Ultrabook ‘project’ yesterday. That is, everything that is being done by Intel and partners across the world to create the best Ultrabook for the future. At meetings next week, Intel and partners will be meeting with the same aim – making the Ultrabook.
In a report at Digitimes, details on the Taiwanese leg of the Ultrabook Ecosystem Symposium have been revealed. According to another report, there’s a repeat of the event in China on August 2nd.
One of the main aims of the Ultrabook is to reduce component count. High integration of silicon, removal of ‘sockets’, reductions in ports and simplification of the power subsystem are areas that Intel and its partners will be working hard to advance in the next 12 months. By reducing component count you make the Ultrabook simpler and cheaper to design and manufacturer. You also increase reliability. For the end user, it means smaller, thinner designs are possible too and there’s no question that we all like ‘thin.’
The current Ultrabook design guidelines require 13.3” screen products to be no more than 18mm thick. An extra 2mm are allowed for touch enabled devices. In the future, Intel think, at least in theory, that 12mm is possible. It will require advanced design but the technology is almost available. One wonders if Apple may be going along this route for the new MBA. They are one of the few companies that have the money to design something like this and then sell it the premium price it will need.
Calling all Ultrabook designers, manufacturers, OEMs. Putting discreet graphics in Ultrabooks is not going to help the Ultrabook and it may come back to bite you. Mainstream buyers don’t understand what it means, gamers aren’t interested, video editors use Apple rigs and that just leaves the niche market of mobile geeks that do a bit of gaming on the side, a big bunch of impressionable bloggers and anyone you can tease with marketing, advertising and a bunch of stickers. Well, maybe that’s what it’s all about; the ability to market a product. I still think it will hurt the Ultrabook though.
I think myself and a number of other tech bloggers have written that more than once over the last 5 or so years but in this case, in 2012, we’ve got a market that appears to be primed, hardware that can take advantage of it and operating systems that are build around it. I’m not talking about Android or IOS tablets, I’m talking about Windows PCs.
With Windows 8 looking towards mobile touch and the Ultrabook and Tablet platforms from Intel and AMD pushing in that direction too there’s a very good chance that developers will hook into the ecosystem and complete the circle.
Apple now have a series of patents for the MacBook Air ‘ornamental design’ and we’re wondering just how much this could impact Ultrabook design in the future. When you see approvals for layouts such as the one below, you have to wonder!
Yes, you’re looking at a featureless rectangle that was approved two days ago as Patent US D654072.
In this article I’ll be taking a different stance and presenting an argument against Ultrabooks.
Why would a pro-Ultrabook web site and a pro-Ultrabook author do this? Simply because I want you readers, and myself, to get a better perspective on the discussion going on around Ultrabooks. All opinions are valid and to make a decision, you need both sides of the story. The more discussion we have, the more we understand. Fingers crossed that Intel and a few OEDs and OEMs read this too because it’s exactly what they need to be thinking about.
I have tried to keep this article factually correct. Your input is encouraged in the comments section below.
There’s much more to Ultrabooks than “Thin, Responsive and Secure.” In terms of laptop design the Ultrabook is one of the biggest overhauls ever. At IDF last week I learnt just how complex the Ultrabook design is and why Intel is calling-out to the ecosystem to help create the best Ultrabook components and designs. Read the full story
You might be wondering why Ultrabooks are going to cost $1000 or more when similar, slightly heavier designs are coming in at 75% of the cost.
The Samsung Series 3 that’s just gone on sale gives us a good chance to do some comparisons and there’s two things we need to consider.
1) Market acceptance
2) Design, hardware, production costs
If you take a look at the Samsung Series 3 [at Liliputing], you’ll see it’s running the Intel Core i5 2nd-gen CPu just like the Series 9. In the Series 3 that’s selling for $735 now you’ve got a 2.3Ghz version rather than a 1.3-1.5Ghz version. The reason is, size.