Ultrabooks haven’t quite found a niche in the portable PC market. Manufacturers are hoping to change that. According to analysis firm Canalys, dozens of the super-thin, super-powerful models will show up at the annual tech trade show CES. Next stop: your friendly local retail shop. (Then, your home.)
Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling expects big things from major ultrabook players, noting that adding features from media tablets will help companies better compete with the successful devices. If you can’t beat ’em, copy ’em.
“Ultrabooks show some much needed, and long overdue, innovation in the notebook market and will pose a new threat to premium pads,” said Coulling. “With increased battery life and portability, the continued development of the Ultrabook will bring some of the features that consumers love about pads to the notebook space.”
“Pad sales are currently concentrated in mature markets, where many consumers will continue to add pads to their collections of electronics products in 2012,” he said. “We expect to see plenty of demonstrations of how the pad can interact with other products, especially in the living room – the new pad battleground.”
Regardless of the potential overlap, ultrabook manufacturers will duke it out with each other for the top spot. Samsung, Lenovo, Asus and Toshiba are just a few companies throwing their weight behind the nascent business.
First-to-market Acer is looking to beat them all by making its line of ultrabooks stronger and leaner. The company unveiled the Aspire S5 this week, calling it the “world’s thinnest ultrabook.” The new iteration, which weighs less than 3 lbs. and measures just 15mm, also features the more powerful Ivy Bridge chip. Previous Sandy Bridge-powered models should see a price drop this spring. The S5 is slated to hit stores this summer.