Jan. 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM ET
Ultrabooks, Intel's super-sleek and thin name for lightweight laptops, will go beyond being a cross between the laptop and tablet or netbook, Intel said Monday. Some models will include both keyboards and touch screens and will be able to slide the keyboard down so that the ultrabook then becomes a tablet.
With sluggish PC sales in the last few years, Intel has ramped up efforts for ultrabooks, less than 18 millimeters thin or less — and rival Apple's successful MacBook Air for thinness and sleekness.
Despite the Cupertino competition, Intel vice president Mooly Eden said ultrabooks being made by companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Acer will have not only bring sleek looks but additional features that consumers say they want, including better built-in security, as well as some models that have Near Field Communication (NFC) for contact-less payments built into the computer.
Having both touch and a keyboard is important for future models, Eden said a press briefing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
"People do not want to give away the physical keyboard — but they want to enjoy both worlds, touch and keyboard," with the idea of using the keyboard for work and touch for "fun" such as games and flipping through computer photo albums.
There are more than 15 different ultrabooks out now, and there should be more than 75 this year. While pricing so far has been in the Mac Book Air range — around $1,000 and up — Eden said "our target is to pull it much lower."
Screen sizes start at 11 inches and will be available at 12, 13, 14 and 15 inch sizes.
The ultrabooks are full-on computers, he said, not just devices, like many tablets, for "consumption" of movies or games.
"Consumption is good for cows; we are humans; all of us would like to express ourselves," he said, whether it be through video, photos or writing.
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