Here’s a head scratcher.
Intel on Wednesday said it would invest US$300 million in companies that develop new technologies for Ultrabooks, a class of thin and light laptops promoted as an alternative to tablet PCs.
This is totally weird to me. Why would they want to invest in an alternative to tablets?
The company said the devices would be a new type of laptop with “tablet-like” capabilities such as instant on, touchscreens and batteries that last all day.
Laptops and tablets have different characteristics and Ultrabooks are an attempt to harmoniously merge the two, said Greg Welch, segment director for the mobile client platforms at Intel, in an interview last week.
On an Ultrabook, people will be switching between using a cursor and touching the screen without thinking about it, he said.
Here’s the part that made me laugh Intel may look to price Ultrabook at around $800 or lower.
The first Ultrabooks later this year will not have touch capabilities, but will boot quickly and be always connected, to continuously receive e-mail and Facebook updates, said Kevin Sellers, vice president of investor relations at Intel, during a presentation earlier this week.
Starting in 2012, Ultrabooks will get touchscreens that can also swivel or slide out. They could be used in full PC mode and then converted into a tablet-like device to watch movies, for example, like convertible tablets today.
“Starting next year with our Ivy Bridge product line and with Windows 8 is when you’ll start to see tablet form factor, tablet capability integrated,” Sellers said. “This is the importance of combining this technology with something like Windows 8, which will give you the ability to do both.”
Windows 8 will be Microsoft’s first operating system designed for touch interfaces.
Maybe it’s just me but I think that these companies should focus on making BETTER tablets. A laptop is a laptop and a tablet is a tablet – they do different things and are for different segments.
I can see experimenting but 300 million?