This year at CES Ultrabooks where everywhere, Microsoft had them and PC vendors where showing them off and the biggest display was at Intel. Intel’s booth was dominated by devices from Lenovo, HP and Samsung and they were drawing big crowds.

The idea behind an Ultrabook is a slim design and long battery life, in fact Intel specifies that to be classed as a Ultrabook the device must be: (from wikipedia)

  • Thin – less than 21 mm (0.8 inch) thickness
  • Lightweight – less than 1.4 kg (3.1 pounds)
  • Long battery life – 5 to 8+ hours
  • Mainstream pricing – around $1,000 USD
  • May use flash-based SSDs

I have been a big fan of lightweight notebooks after carry around a heavy laptop each year at CES I really appreciate a light device and this was one of the main reasons I bought a Macbook Air. The Air seems to be what Intel have been inspired by (or trying to copy depending on your point of view) as they try and bring a bit of sex appeal back to the PC (and margins for OEMS). In 2007 at CES Netbooks where just starting to take off and companies like Intel were promoting them, they were light and cheap but low spec and underpowered for many tasks. Over the last couple of years CES the netbooks where everywhere but this year they are no where to be seen. I don’t think I saw one at Intel and is a sign that the Netbook trend is over.

Could the Ultrabook be this years fad? I don’t think so I thinks its just the direction notebooks are going in, lightweight and long battery life is what most users want. What is interesting is that many of the designs have a Mac like feel to them, some look like Air and others like Lenovo’s remind me of a Macbook Pro.

Another tend I have noticed at CES is the adoption of Macs, I have been coming since 2006 and each year I see more and more Macs, this year seems to be more Airs than anything else so hopefully the Ultrabook can turn this around and next year there will be a few more Windows machines in the press room.

So will an Ultrabook be your next PC or would you consider a Macbook?

Here is a selection of Ultrabooks pictures from the show floor:

IMG 2020

Intel’s display


IMG 3777

Lenvo Ideapad

IMG 3829

HP’s Envy 14

IMG 3756




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