Intel: $699 ultrabooks coming soon

Intel is kicking off its ultrabook symposium in Taipei tomorrow, and details have emerged of exactly what the company will be showcasing for the platform going forward. NetbookNews sat down with Navin Shenoy, the Vice President of Intel's Architecture Group, and gleaned some information as to what to expect. As you might imagine, Intel is keen to promote ultrabooks and bring even more to market. Currently there are around 35 designs available to buy, but Intel says there are at least 140 designs for the platform.

Intel is also hoping to hit a very aggressive $699 price point for entry-level ultrabooks going forward in order to stave off competition from Apple's MacBook Airs. There have been a couple of Sandy Bridge-based models that have briefly touched that price, but Intel is hoping for a wider range of ultrabooks to start hitting that specific number.

Standard ultrabooks are currently flooding from the market from a variety of manufacturers, but Intel hinted that around 40 ultrabooks with touch capabilities would see the light of day soon enough. Those models will launch around the fourth quarter, coinciding with the release of Windows 8 which places a new emphasis on touch operation.

Finally, the company once again hinted at its next-generation processor, Haswell. The processor will mark another jump in speed for Intel, but also bring with it reduced power requirements. Intel is pitching the 22nm processor as the first System on a Chip for the PC, claiming that it will use up to 20 times less power than Ivy Bridge. That low-power requirement will be especially important for ultrabooks, enabling true all day computing and bringing them closer to ARM-based tablets.