The PC market’s last, best hope: Apple MacBook Air wannabes

“Call it an Ultrabook. Call it a Sleekbook. It’s still pretty much a wannabe MacBook Air,” Michal Lev-Ram writes for Fortune. “But for technology behemoths that count on computers like Intel and Hewlett-Packard, the new crop of thinner laptops are the latest attempt to electroshock demand.”
“What the heck is an Ultrabook? Intel defines it as a thin, lightweight and low-power laptop — a.k.a, a slightly cheaper MacBook Air,” Lev-Ram writes. “At its annual investor meeting in Santa Clara, Calif. last week, the chipmaker showed off several of the 20 Ultrabooks currently in production and said there are 110 additional designs in the works… To make sure these new devices sell, Intel has embarked on its biggest marketing campaign since its Centrino wireless line came out in 2003… Intel is hoping Ultrabooks will help get consumers excited about PCs again.”

Lev-Ram writes, “What about the new competition? Intel dismisses the threat from ARM. CEO Paul Otellini told investors the company is on track to meet its goal — that Ultrabooks will comprise 40% of consumer notebook sales by this holiday season. Intel would like to sell a lot of phones and tablets this year as well, but so far that hasn’t happened. Despite its advanced technology and brand recognition, the company still hasn’t been able to crack the mobile market.”

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