Dell ultrabook may launch in January

Ultrabooks are undoubtedly the next big thing in the laptop world, and all the major PC makers seem to be falling in line. Dell, too, is apparently cooking up an ultrabook of its own, at least if the folks at CNet News are to be believed. Quoting "industry sources familiar with Dell's plans," they say the PC maker may be planning to release its ultrabook "around the CES time frame."

The next Consumer Electronics Show is scheduled for January 10-13, 2012. CNet News reckons Intel will announce its 22-nm Ivy Bridge processors there, as well, although the first Ivy Bridge ultrabooks won't actually hit stores until next spring. That means if Dell unveils an Ivy Bridge ultrabook at CES, we could be looking at a paper launch with retail availability to follow a few months later. Otherwise, the Dell system will probably pack a 17W Sandy Bridge CPU, just like the first ultrabooks coming this fall.

I've gotta say, an Ivy Bridge machine sounds more exciting—not just because Intel's next-gen CPUs will likely deliver higher performance per watt, but because we've heard that Ivy Bridge ultrabooks could be priced as low as $600. The cheapest Sandy Bridge-based ultrabooks, by contrast, seem to be priced closer to $900.

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