During its first-quarter earnings call yesterday Lenovo confirmed plans to develop thin and light laptops that fit Intel's definition of 'Ultrabooks'. Responding to an analyst's question, Chief Operating Officer Rory Read said Lenovo will invest in innovation to be a leader in this space, but he doesn't expect the computers to hit mainstream prices until 2012.
"You'll see us introduce over the coming quarters the ability to reach mainstream price points with [Ultrabook] solutions that were only 18 months ago in premium segments. That's just a natural evolution of the space."
Intel unveiled design guidelines for the Ultrabook category back in May. The goal is to develop a platform for computer makers to offer reasonably priced, high performance laptops that combine thinner and lighter form factors with tablet-style features such as touchscreens and near instant-on capabilities. They are supposed to be less than 20mm (0.8 inch) thick, use solid-state drives for storage, and cost less than $1,000 -- something that OEMs are reportedly having trouble dealing with.
The company's ThinkPad X1 already meets all of the criteria of an Ultrabook, except for the starting price, but according to Lenovo it represents the kind of ultraslim design that will hit mainstream price points in the coming quarters.
Other companies working on Ultrabooks include Asus, which showed the UX21 earlier this year at Computex, as well as Acer and HP. Then there's also the 11.6-inch Samsung Series 9 notebook, which is just 0.64 inches thick and readily available starting at $999, while the 11-inch version of Apple's MacBook Air also starts at $999.