Notebook makers cautious about Ultrabooks

Initial production runs limited, moles claim

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Notebook makers are playing it cautious with Ultrabooks, it seems, limiting shipments to 50,000 or less as the gauge demand through the remainder of 2011.

So say manufacturer moles cited by DigiTimes. Their caution is explained by their experience with past Intel notebook initiatives, most notably for so-called "CULV" - Consumer Ultra Low Voltage - skinny laptops, which failed to catch the public's eye.

Branding a slimline laptop 'Ultrabook' makes more sense than calling it a 'CULV', but Intel's move to brand the new machines more sensibly than the previous ones doesn't appear to have convinced manufacturers, at least not entirely.

Intel is said to want 40 per cent of 2012's notebook shipments to be taken up by Ultrabooks which, it hopes, will go some way toward reversing the trend toward tablets.

The initial run of Ultrabooks from Acer and Toshiba - you read our first impressions of these two vendors' machines here and here - and from Lenovo and Asus will take place in September with a view to sales starting through retail the following month.

We expect Intel to say a lot more about Ultrabooks at next week's annual Intel Developers Forum, in San Francisco. We'll be there, and we'll let you know what it says. ®

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