Intel Corp. (INTC), the world’s largest chipmaker, is promoting a new type of thinner laptop called an ultrabook, seeking to help the personal-computer industry fend off a challenge from Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad and other tablets.
The new machines will be less than an inch thick, have days of battery life on standby, start up in just seconds and retail for less than $1,000, according to Intel Executive Vice President Sean Maloney, who discussed the products at a speech today. Intel aims to convert 40 percent of consumer laptops to the new category by the end of 2012.
Intel is trying to help the PC industry beat back the iPad, which has attracted consumers seeking a thin, affordable computer. Until now, ultraportable devices from PC makers haven’t sold well because of high prices and chips that didn’t deliver enough performance, Maloney said in an interview.
“We want to find new ways to propel the PC forward,” said Maloney, who is taking on a newly created position as chairman of Intel China. “With what has happened in the tablet space, there is a ‘hurry-up’ to the PC industry.”
While Intel also is developing new chips for tablet computers, the company has struggled to translate its PC dominance into success in that market. Apple’s device runs on mobile-phone chips, rather than Intel processors. Tablets from Samsung Electronics Co., Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. also rely on non-Intel chips.
Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, expects to have 35 tablets based on its chips on sale by the end of the year. It will demonstrate 10 of them during Maloney’s speech, which happens today at the Computex industry show in Taiwan.
Maloney was joined on stage by Asustek Computer Inc. Chairman Jonney Shih to demonstrate that company’s UX21 ASUS ultrabook computer. Later generations of ultrabooks will be based on Intel’s new processor design, called Ivy Bridge.
Intel rose 30 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $22.51 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The stock has gained 7 percent this year.
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