ASUS shows the UX21 notebook for little less than a month ago, and it was immediately compared to Apple MacBook Air. Intel later revealed that UX21 was product made in joint between Intel and ASUS for a coming concept and product frame, Ultrabook. However, ASUS seems to be the only showing interest, mainly because of the price.

Intel believes Ultrabook is the future and by the end of 2012 the company hopes 40% of all notebooks will be an Ultrabook. To classify a notebook as an ultrabook it has to be at most 0.8″ thick, bettery times up to 10 hours, SSD or SSD cache through Intel Smart Response. What may sound like a pretty extreme computer will cost less than 1,000 dollar.

The new concept is not expect to roll out untli Ivy Bridge arrives, but today already Intel has several CPUs tailored for ultrabooks with 17W TDP.

Model Core i7-2677M Core i7-2637M Core i5-2557M Core i5-2537M Core i5-2467M Core i3-2357M Pentium 957 Celeron 847
Cores 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Hyperthr. Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja Nej Nej
Cache 3 MB 3 MB 3 MB 3 MB 3 MB 3 Mb 2 MB 2 MB
Clock freq. 1.8 GHz 1.7 GHz 1.7 GHz 1.4 GHz 1.6 GHz 1.3 GHz 1.2 GHz 1.1 GHz
Turbo 2.9 GHz 2.8 GHz 2.7 GHz 2.3 GHz 2.4 GHz No No Yes
Graphics HD 3000 HD 3000 HD 3000 HD 3000 HD 3000 HD 3000 HD 3000 HD 3000
Clock freq. (Graphics) 350 MHz 350 MHz 350 MHz 350 MHz 350 MHz 350 MHz 350 MHz 350 MHz
Turbo (Graphics) 1.2 GHz 1.2 GHz 1.2 GHz 900 MHz 1.15 GHz 950 MHz 800 MHz 800 MHz
Node 32nm 32nm 32nm 32nm 32nm 32nm 32nm 32nm
TDP 17W 17W 17W 17W 17W 17W 17W 17W

The problem Intel has is convincing partners how it can be profitable to make and sell a notebook with these specifications and still charge less than 1,000 USD, while they have to use Intel’s 17W processors costing near $200, while i5/i7 costs even more. To remedy this Intel has a Celeron 857 on the way to replace 847, and a single-core Celeron 787. If Celeron 787 will compensate this with HyperThreading is unclear.

Macbook Air 11.6″, ASUS UX21 11.6″ and Macbook Air 13.3″

Intel’s partners all have some kind of Ultrabook in development, but nothing that is ready for market. Instead they intend to wait and see how the UX21 does before deciding to follow. Intel wants the ultrabook to gain popularity, which is understandable since they will use largely Intel components and technologies. Intel has set aside a large marketing budget and try to presuade partners it is a winning concept.

Either way we don’t expect to see any more ultrabooks until 22nm Ivy Bridge with its lower energy consumption is out on the market. With Haswell to be released in 2013, Intel has lowered the recommended to less than $600.

Source: Digitimes

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