Next year is shaping up to be the year that the Ultrabook takes on the MacBook Air in earnest, with a new report hinting at an $800 ThinkPad from Lenovo and even talk of a fall release of Windows 8.
Intel has been espousing Ultrabooks as the next wave in Windows-based laptop computing. An important part of the argument is price: Ultrabooks have to be considerably cheaper than the popular MacBook Air in order to get consumers interested. (Note to picky Ultrabook reviewers: PC makers are going have to cut some corners to get the price down.)
Well, Lenovo appears to be doing its part to make this happen. The world's No. 2 PC maker is working on a "mainstream" model that may approach $800 by June of 2012, according to a report in The Verge.
That would make it not only cheaper than existing Ultrabooks like the $899 Toshiba Z835, but the ThinkPad would include nextgen goodies like Intel's upcoming 3D transistor-based Ivy Bridge technology, which packs better graphics silicon and extras like USB 3.0.
And the report also says Lenovo expects Windows 8 in the fall of 2012. That's the other shoe that needs to drop for Ultrabooks to take off because it enables hybrid designs. This news follows a report earlier in the week that Samsung plans to sell a Windows 8 tablet with a wireless keyboard in the second half of 2012.