You may have heard of Intel’s Ultrabook standard, a guideline for slim, sleek and well-performing ultraportable PC laptops comparable to the MacBook Air. According to market analysts IHS iSupply, however, the standard is not doing as well as hoped, with the previous forecast of 22 million shipped by the end of 2012 cut by half to just over 10 million.
Ultrabook sales expectations for next year have been revised accordingly, from an estimated 61 million to 44 million units. An analyst from IHS iSupply commented that "so far, the PC industry has failed to create the kind of buzz and excitement among consumers that is required to propel ultrabooks into the mainstream," according to the Telegraph.
However, we’re not sure it’s all quite as doom-and-gloom as it may appear. First off, for what is a premium – and therefore expensive – standard, sales of 10 million units isn’t half bad (pun intended). For another, many consumers may be waiting for Windows 8 and its accompanying hardware products to launch before making a laptop purchase.
Then there’s the fact that the Ultrabook hasn’t lived up to its ‘premium’ tag in some ways till now. For example, until the likes of the Asus Zenbook Prime with its Full HD IPS screen came along, it was difficult to find an Ultrabook with a high-quality, high-resolution screen (especially since Samsung doesn’t technically class its Series 9 900X3B ultraportable as an Ultrabook).
But that’s all changing. Windows 8 is coming out, and along with it a whole slew of laptops that are actually premium across the board. The other factor that may lead to increased uptake is that many of these laptops will also be convertible tablets, taking the stress out of deciding whether you need both. For more on this, check out: Why Windows 8 will kill the Laptop.