updated 08:55 am EDT, Mon July 11, 2011
HP may have at least two ultrabooks
Part supplier chain leaks Monday have hinted that HP is not only hoping to get into Intel's new ultrabook category but could preempt ASUS' UX21. HP is reportedly planning at least two of the MacBook Air-inspired ultraportables using the new ultra-low voltage Core i7s. Foxconn would handle the production and was reported by Digitimes as already shipping the first wave.
Despite the seemingly imminent launch, no mention has been made of hard specifications. The new Core i7s run at 1.7GHz and 1.8GHz. Intel's guidelines for an ultrabook also require that the system run under less than 0.8 inches thick and start at $1,000 or less. Its size usually dictates solid-state drives.
ASUS may also have a surprise as the UX21 should come in MacBook Air-like 11.6- and 13-inch screen sizes. Pegatron, ASUS' former manufacturing wing, is being contracted out.
HP has had ultraportables such as the Pavilion dm1 and dm3 but has never had runaway success. The company has also lacked a real halo computer to attract buyers. Most recently, its home PC sales have dropped sharply as its audience either puts off an upgrade or opts for an alternative like the iPad.
Apple is widely credited with having invented the ultrabook through the Air. Intel and Windows PC makers have shown early interest since it promises a more tablet-like experience with a fast start, instant responsiveness and a much more portable shape.