Intel Promises That Ultrabooks Will Hit $699 This Year

According to Kirk Skaugen, general manager for the PC Client group at Intel, there are currently 75 Ultrabook designs with different form factors, including hybrid models, in development. The executive also expects prices to drop sharply and reach $699 by the back-to-school season.

Skaugen's words are in contrast to Digitimes, which recently reported that second-generation Ultrabooks with 22 nm Ivy Bridge processor may not be able to touch $699, unless Intel is reducing its processor prices. Digitimes referred to computer makers in Taiwan, who implied that Intel should not be focusing so much on marketing, but providing lower CPU prices to notebook makers.

At this time, some entry-level Ultrabooks can be purchased from about $800, while the majority of devices are at $1000 and above. Higher volumes are likely to offer room for lower prices, which Intel appears to be targeting at the launch of Windows 8 and against the trend of pure-play tablets. Skaugen said that Ultrabooks "can deliver the best of a tablet, and the best in what (users) know in a notebook."

It has also become clear that Intel is highly protective of the "Ultrabook" brand. The company previously said that only Intel-equipped notebooks can carry the Ultrabook designation and Skaugen added that Ultrabooks will have to deliver on the form factor requirement: "If it's too thick it won't be called an Ultrabook. It won't be allowed to be called an Ultrabook because Ultrabook is a trademark of Intel and we can protect the trademark."

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