While the details are scarce at this point, Taiwan-based part and component suppliers claim that HP will actually be the first to produce a mobile PC based on Intel's "ultrabook" concept, beating the Asus UX21 (seen right) to the market. The HP-branded ultrabooks will be manufactured by Foxconn and may even arrive sometime this summer.
According to unnamed sources, HP's upcoming ultra-slim notebooks will be packed with Intel's 1.7 GHz Core i7-2637M and 1.8 GHz Core i7-2677M dual-core processors. Windows 7 will also be the OS of choice. Other hardware and software specs were not provided.
During Computex 2011, Intel claimed that its tablet-like ultrabook design guidelines would dominate over 40-percent of the laptop market share within the next six to nine months. The form factor itself will supposedly be under 20-mm thick (0.8 inches) while the overall notebook will reside under the $1000 pricetag. The first wave of these super-slim notebooks will run on Intel's current Sandy Bridge processor platform, and then move to the Ivy Bridge platform next year.
"Many of the super-sleek devices today are quite pricey. The price points need to become more mainstream," Intel marketing chief Tom Kilroy told CNET. "And as volume ramps, say by the end of 2012, we think as much as 40 percent of the volume will be in this ultra category. And as the volume picks up, the price points will come down. And we think by 2013 with 'Haswell,' which is our system-on-a-chip implementation, you'll see ultrabooks in truly mainstream price points of $599."
As numerous manufacturers have tried to follow Apple's success by releasing tablets of their own, the ultrabook concept seems to follow Apple's lead by mimicking its MacBook Air design. Intel is hoping that the new blueprint will help ward off the ever-growing tablet segment from the notebook sector by offering tablet-like experiences but with laptop-like performance.
So far HP has not responded to the reports. However, the HP-branded ultrabooks are supposedly already completed and currently shipping off to the company for distribution.