The ultraportable laptop competition is heating up, as HP is reportedly expected to be the first to launch laptops based on Intel's new Ultrabook category: slim, affordable laptops that may give Windows users decent alternatives to Apple's MacBook Air. DigiTimes says HP will be launching at least two Ultrabook models -- ahead of the Asus UX21, which is slated for September and the laptop Intel used to announce the new category in May.
Sources told DigiTimes that the HP Ultrabooks will use Intel's Core i7-2677M (1.8GHz) and i7-2637M (1.7GHz) dual-core CPUs. However, Intel's guidelines for the Ultrabooks class indicate the HP models will be under 0.8-inches thick, have a long battery life, and cost under $1,000.
Since Apple is also expected to refresh the MacBook Air soon -- within the next few weeks or days, even - the timing of this news is very interesting. Intel believes Ultrabooks will capture up to 40 percent of consumer laptops globally by the end of next year. That race is about to begin.