Intel today unveiled a host of new ultrabook products based on its upcoming Ivy Bridge platform, which isn't due to arrive until the first half of next year.
The new models all looked very similar to existing ultrabook designs such as the Toshiba Z830 and Lenovo U300 S with 13in screens and thicknesses of little over 10mm. They were all featherweight as well with weights of well below 1.5kg.
The ultrabook is Intel's vision of the future with the company expecting these super slim and light notebooks to make up 50% of PC sales in coming years. These first generation devices are set to cost around $1,000/£1,000 but Intel hopes prices will drop soon. The established Sandy Bridge CPU platform is being used for the first generation of ultrabooks, along with other ultra slim laptops such as the MacBook Air, but will transition to Ivy Bridge in the new year.
Breaking Intel's traditional tick/tock development cycle, where it alternates introducing a new smaller manufacturing technique (a die shrink) with a new CPU design, Ivy Bridge combines Intel's new lower power 22nm manufacturing process with some improvements to the Sandy Bridge design. These include a boost in graphics performance, with graphics pipelines increasing from 12 to 16, and improved multimedia hardware. This fact led Mooly Eden, Intel's Corporate Vice President and General Manager for the PC Client Group, to refer to Ivy Bridge as a tick .
The selection of manufacturers willing to show their Ivy bridge wares was limited to OEMs such as Pegatron, Foxconn and Quanta, and all were either 13in or 14in models - there were none of our favourite 11in models - with the bigger brand names keeping their cards closer to their chest.
We're yet to really get to grips with much of the Sandy Bridge generation of ultrabooks but one thing's for certain, we like the direction the market is moving in. That said, we wouldn't mind if someone created a thicker 11in model with 10hrs battery life and loads of connectivity. Nudge nudge. Hint hint.