Intel's "ultrabook" campaign was born in 2011, ostensibly to bring Apple-style sex appeal to stodgy PC laptops. No longer would Windows laptops look like embarrassing, blocky throwbacks. Instead, you'd get ultrathin design, light weight, and solid performance -- basically, a Windows machine with the same design chops as the MacBook Air.
That was the plan, anyway. As the ultrabook train rolled into 2012, its very definition became increasingly vague -- small screen sizes and flash storage were no longer "must-haves," which pretty muchof "ultrabook" to "almost any reasonably attractive Windows laptop."
Combine that with a transition to Windows 8 -- more marketplace confusion as to myriad laptop formats and choices -- and a consumer move to tablets as the go-to gadget of choice, and it's no surprise to hear that just weren't the spark to rekindle PC sales in 2012. Look for the industry to try in 2013, further blurring the line between laptops and tablets -- and likely leaving the term "ultrabook" in the rearview mirror.