Owners of Dell’s Latitude 6430u Ultrabooks are experiencing something foul when they take the notebook out of its box for the first time, and it isn’t just its cheap plastic shell and disappointing hardware. It’s the “smell of cat urine” emanating from the keyboard.
It’s been a while since a mouse had me licking my MacBook’s screen with gadget lust, but a few seconds after first looking at Logitech’s new Bluetooth-powered Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630 and my rMBP’s glossy panel was covered with a thick coat of saliva. (Seriously, doesn’t anyone else lick their screen? Am I the only one?*)
We’ve already heard one crazy rumor about the iPhone 5S today, and now we have another, even more ludicrous one, about the iPad. Apparently, Apple is planning to launch a bigger “iPad maxi” in early 2014 which will step up the tablet’s fight against ultrabooks and other small notebooks with a 12.9-inch display.
Intel’s attempt to knock the MacBook Air down a peg seems to be failing them. Some depressing sales figures were released that show how little of an impact the Ultrabooks have had on the MacBook Air. In Q2, only 500,000 total Ultrabooks were shipped, compared to 2.8 million MacBooks. Ouch.
The wedge design of the MacBook Air has been patented by Apple, meaning that the Cupertino company now owns the rights to “the distinctive wedge or teardrop profile” of the sexy notebook. Apple’s D296 patent means that the MacBook Air has solidified the tapered, wedge-like design for its class of computer.
Instead of focusing on concrete details, the new patent covers the general aesthetic of the MacBook Air’s design. Over the past year or so, dozens of laptops, dubbed “Ultrabooks,” have been copying the metallic look and feel of the Air. Could this new patent mean that Apple is setting its legal sights on Ultrabook competitors?
Intel may be the biggest world’s biggest chip maker, but the company failed to cash in on the mobile technology craze. Staying focused on desktops and laptops where it had a near lock on general computing market, Intel missed out taking the lead in smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Now trying to play catchup, Intel has introduced its own ARM-competing tablets. The company is so confident (or arrogant) that it thinks it can make chips so compelling that Apple “can’t ignore” them for future iterations of the iPhone and iPad.
Even as the iPad continues to slowly strangle the life out of the netbook market, HP is determined to rebrand that small, inexpensive laptop category while also breaking away from Intel’s MacBook Air-like ultrabook standard. Calling the new line of laptops “sleekbooks,” HP is repudiating Intel’s ultrabook requirements and cozying up with Intel’s longtime rival AMD.
The new sleekbook devices were announced along with new ultrabook models in HP’s Envy line. The new sleekbooks aim to strike a balance somewhere between Intel’s rigid ultrabook specs and the netbook ideal of minimal, low-cost notebooks.
PC makers hoping to compete with Apple’s lightweight MacBook Air laptop want chipmaking giant Intel to cut prices in order to produce “Ultrabook” alternatives costing under $1,000. So far, the company has balked at any discounts, yet still seeks to capture 40 percent of the notebook market.
Unsure of how Intel’s “Ultrabook” laptops will compete with the iPad and MacBook Air, manufacturers are “testing the water” by ordering less than 50,000 units for later this month. Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and Asustek are reportedly uncertain how the revamped laptops will be greeted by consumers shifting to tablets and cloud computing. That sounds to us like they’re giving up and conceding victory to the MacBook Air before they even got started competing with it.
One Intel director revealed in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal that Apple threatened to drop the chip maker over its hungry processors if it couldn’t “drastically slash” the amount of power they demanded.