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.