Intel Pushes 'Ultrabooks' As Tablet Alternative

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel Corp. is gearing up for its biggest marketing campaign in years, to support "ultrabooks," which are thin, light laptops. That's happening while it faces a challenge from another kind of thin, light computer: the tablet, exemplified by Apple's iPad, which doesn't use Intel chips.

On a conference call Tuesday, an analyst asked Intel CEO Paul Otellini about competition from tablets.

QUESTION: It's clear the emerging markets have been driving a lot of PC growth. I'm curious, longer term do you think these emerging markets go more towards ultrabooks or towards tablets? And what implications will that have on Intel's pricing?

RESPONSE: I don't think anyone in the world knows the answer to that question. If you look at people I buying tablets today, particularly in the iPad arena, these are people that started out with PCs, and very often still use PCs. It's a complementary device. How that unfolds two, three years from now, I don't think anyone knows.

What I am very excited about ... is this notion of bringing the convenience, the thinness, the instant-on capability and the touch of a tablet combined with the productivity, the compatibility and the usefulness of a keyboard into the same device. You'll see a number of these shipping, second half of this year, as the energies of our (manufacturer customers) gets unleashed onto this category.

I think that it's way too early to have a debate on ultrabook versus tablet because in fact, in my view, the long-term form factor is probably somewhere in between those two devices.

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