Chip giant Intel yesterday touted a range of ultra-thin netbooks dubbed Ultrabooks at the Computex show in Taiwan.
Ultrabooks are designed to combine the portability of smaller netbook laptops with the ultra-thin form factor of tablet devices, and capitalise on the changes the company is making to the Intel Core processor roadmap.
Intel said that this new class of mobile device would claim 40 per cent of the consumer laptop market by the end of 2012.
Intel used the event to unveil the first Ultrabook – the UX21 from Asus.
The Asus UX21 Ultrabook is less than 20mm (0.8in) thick and will enable instant log-on, while also doubling up as a touchscreen tablet device when folded.
Asus chairman Jonney Shih said his company was aligned with Intel's Ultrabook vision.
"Our customers are demanding an uncompromised computing experience in a lightweight, highly portable design that responds to their needs quickly," he said.
Intel said the UX21 and up to 32 other Ultrabook devices would go on sale for about £600 in time for the 2011 winter holiday shopping season.
The first devices will feature chips from Intel's Atom netbook platform, codenamed Cedar Trail, and run Google ChromeOS, MeeGo and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
But those released during the first half of next year will be based on Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, which use 22nm manufacturing technology, as well as its new 3D transitor process unveiled earlier this month.
"We believe the changes Intel is making to its roadmaps, together with strong industry collaboration, will bring about an exciting change in personal computing over the next few years," added Intel executive vice president Sean Maloney.