Intel has put a lot of effort into promoting ultrabooks, but consumers don’t seem to be flocking to the ultra-slim notebooks. DigiTimes’ sources in the Taiwanese supply chain claim that only 5% of notebooks shipped this year will be classified as ultrabooks. That figure is expected to rise to 20% in 2013, which is a big improvement but not as high as earlier predictions. A year ago, IHS iSuppli expected ultrabook to make up 13% of notebook shipments this year and 28% in 2013.
As processor power envelopes shrink and SSDs become more affordable, it’s becoming easier for notebook makers to build systems that meet Intel’s ultrabook requirements. Prices remain relatively high, though, and Haswell may not bring any relief on that front. An ultrabook roadmap published by WCCFtech suggests Haswell-based ultrabooks will cost $700 and up, just like existing Ivy-based models. The roadmap also mentions a baseline battery life specification of nine hours, a substantial increase over Intel’s current five-hour minimum.
Ultrabooks would certainly be a lot more appealing if they offered battery life in the same ballpark as modern tablets. Speaking of tablets, the ultrabook roadmap recommends touchscreens and hybrid designs for Haswell-based systems. “Full HD” displays are suggested, as well, but it seems likely that those features will be available only in ultrabooks at the high end of the price spectrum.