infoTECH Feature

June 04, 2012

Lenovo Banks on Ultra-Thin Ultrabooks to Bolster PC Industry

The PC industry has been in flux for some time now. While plenty of people still have a PC, and many more new ones are bought every day, the industry itself faces stiff competition from the tablet and the smartphone. Those laptops that do remain, like Apple's (News - Alert) popular MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, are slimming down to emphasize a combination of power and portability. This is also the strategy that PC maker Lenovo is taking with its upcoming line of Ultrabooks.

The Ultrabook, an ultra-thin laptop line powered by Intel (News - Alert) chips and even partially developed by Intel, is looking to take on Apple's growing market share and give the PC a chance to hold onto its top slot.

In that vein, Lenovo (News - Alert) is putting out a full-on charm offensive, set to start up June 25 with the release of a five minute short film / advertisement hybrid called "Seize the Night."

"Seize The Night" brings us a bunch of college students who find themselves passing a Lenovo Ultrabook around a library. The purpose of their game of musical laptop is a secret project that will only be seen in the film itself.

The motive behind "Seize The Night" was to illustrate just what could be done when young, agile minds get together with a new product that still seems a little bit on the familiar side, almost showing that the laptop – and the PC in general – is still relevant in a time when Apple products are steadily gaining ground in the market.

While original projections said 40 percent of all computers would be Ultrabooks by the end of 2012 – that was actually Intel's projection, and in retrospect was a bit aggressive – the numbers do seem to hold out, though not necessarily the time frame. IHS (News - Alert) iSuppli figures that the 40 percent number will hit in 2015, though this year will stay around 13 percent.

And Lenovo, meanwhile, expects Ultrabooks to eventually represent 40 to 50 percent of Lenovo's entire product line.

With other PC makers like Dell (News - Alert), Toshiba and Samsung all in on the Ultrabook concept, and Intel establishing a $300 million fund to aid in their marketing efforts, it's clear there's plenty at stake here.

While the Ultrabook concept will likely gain ground – especially among mobile users, personal and professional alike – it likely won't be a smart move to count out the PC in its entirety just yet. The PC gaming market, for example, depends largely on the desktop PC to ensure that the necessary specs required to play most games are present. Laptops – even Ultrabooks – have a ways to go to produce the same kind of power. 

But given that the PC gaming market is comparatively small against the rest of the market, it's still safe to say Ultrabooks have a journey ahead of them, especially among current laptop users and those who favor portable hardware, even current tablet and smartphone users.

While there are concerns about the Ultrabook in general, we may very well be looking at what is simply the beginning of a new market. We'll have to wait and see how it all breaks down, of course, but if the next generation of Ultrabooks posts improvements in specs like the next generations of tablets and laptops will, then that form factor may be the start of something great.

Edited by Braden Becker

Subscribe to InfoTECH Spotlight eNews

InfoTECH Spotlight eNews delivers the latest news impacting technology in the IT industry each week. Sign up to receive FREE breaking news today!
FREE eNewsletter

infoTECH Whitepapers