HP says it will soon offer Ultrabooks

Hewlett-Packard says for the first time that it will enter the emerging market for Ultrabooks, the superskinny laptops that compete with the MacBook Air.

After Hewlett-Packard made it official today that it is staying in the PC business, it also went on the record with its entry into the Ultrabook market.

"Ultramobile is a notebook category of sub-17 millimeter notebooks. We're very focused on having a suite in that ultramobile space. And you'll see that very soon," Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group, said in a conference call today.

Most large PC makers, like Toshiba, have announced Ultrabooks.  HP has not but indicated today for the first time that it will 'soon.'
Most large PC makers, like Toshiba, have announced Ultrabooks. HP has not but indicated today for the first time that it will 'soon.' CNET

HP (along with Dell) will be one of the last major PC makers to enter the market for these sub-0.8-inch, 3-pounds-and-under laptops that compete with Apple's MacBook Air.

"HP had yet to announce its intentions for the Ultrabook market and has been notably quiet as Lenovo, Asus, Acer, and Toshiba have all announced new ultra-thin models," Deron Kershaw, an analyst at GAP Intelligence, said in a research note today.

The world's largest PC maker needs to put all of its weight behind new product launches. The "hangover," as CEO Meg Whitman put it, of the August 18 announcement--when HP stated that it was exploring a spin-off of its PC business--has caused plenty of confusion among customers. "We're very conscious of the pressure that we face in the short term," said Bradley today.

Windows 8 tablets are also on HP's new-product agenda. Whitman indicated that today. "I think we need to be in the tablet business and we're certainly going to be there with Windows 8. We're going to make another run at this business," she said.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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