The PC market’s last, best hope: Apple MacBook Air wannabes

“Call it an Ultrabook. Call it a Sleekbook. It’s still pretty much a wannabe MacBook Air,” Michal Lev-Ram writes for Fortune. “But for technology behemoths that count on computers like Intel and Hewlett-Packard, the new crop of thinner laptops are the latest attempt to electroshock demand.”

“What the heck is an Ultrabook? Intel defines it as a thin, lightweight and low-power laptop — a.k.a, a slightly cheaper MacBook Air,” Lev-Ram writes. “At its annual investor meeting in Santa Clara, Calif. last week, the chipmaker showed off several of the 20 Ultrabooks currently in production and said there are 110 additional designs in the works… To make sure these new devices sell, Intel has embarked on its biggest marketing campaign since its Centrino wireless line came out in 2003… Intel is hoping Ultrabooks will help get consumers excited about PCs again.”

Lev-Ram writes, “What about the new competition? Intel dismisses the threat from ARM. CEO Paul Otellini told investors the company is on track to meet its goal — that Ultrabooks will comprise 40% of consumer notebook sales by this holiday season. Intel would like to sell a lot of phones and tablets this year as well, but so far that hasn’t happened. Despite its advanced technology and brand recognition, the company still hasn’t been able to crack the mobile market.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple leads. The rest of the world follows with Apple knockoff designs packing an inferior, upside-down and backwards pretend Mac OS. As usual.

Related articles:
HP ‘designer’ on HP’s MacBook Air clone: ‘Apple may like to think they own silver, but they don’t’ – May 9, 2012
Apple to release $799 MacBook Air in 3Q12, sources say – May 7, 2012
Dell’s new XPS 13 ‘ultrabook’ not in same league as Apple’s vastly superior MacBook Air – March 14, 2012
JP Morgan: Windows PC ‘ultrabooks’ just Apple MacBook Air wannabes – February 14, 2012
Apple issues ultimatum to Pegatron over ASUS MacBook Air knockoffs: Us or them, take your pick – February 13, 2012
Ready to rumble: Apple’s MacBook Air upgrade looms – January 16, 2012


  1. … use when the first MBA was introduced, I would think the MBA was NOT the first UltraBook. True, most of the computers that size were classified as “NetBooks”, but those had an even smaller power-footprint.
    Point is, it’s a bit Mac-centric to claim primacy when all the MBA can really claim is the first successful marketing. No mean feat in itself!

    1. It is not about marketing. Is is about a far better product. Saying it is the marketing suggests the non Apple ultra books are equal and would have sold as well with equal marketing. I don’t believe this for a minute.

    2. Wrong.

      Most netbooks pack the slowest intel atom processors, and the crappiest keyboards, along with still-crap 2 hour battery life, windows xp, and the crappiest lcd screens.

      The First Macbook air packed a full powered Core 2 Duo, a great screen, and higher powered components along with a full sized keyboard. It was also 13″ not 9″ or 11″

      Netbooks were trying to be what the iPad is now – a simple computing device for online access – a computer for the masses, if you will… but they were going about it all wrong.

      The Macbook air is just the natural direction all laptops will begin to take, as we finally get to machines that are thin and light, but have plenty of power.

      The 11″ air came much later, but it was because some people wanted the power of a full computer in a form factor close to the iPad, and that’s what apple gave them.

      Watch as the Macbook pros also begin to slim down and travel in the direction of the macbook air.

    3. The MBA can boast a whole lot more than successful marketing. How about its insanely thin design, its high buid quality, or the fact that it wasn’t woefully underpowered like a netbook?

      And of course, all the marketing did was just show people how thin it was. They started buying it because they liked the product they saw, not because of some marketing voodoo or anything.

      Also, considering that today’s Ultrabooks are shameless MBA copies, I don’t think it’s Mac centric to claim primacy at all. I think it’s accurate.

  2. Consumers get rattled when you line up 20 devices in a row (be it laptops or TVs or washers).

    Then they have to try to understand differences which is nearly impossible.

  3. They’re struggling to try to copy last year’s MB Air, while Apple is preparing to change the game. Again.
    Even if they could copy the hardware, any machine running windows is, by definition, inferior.

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