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Lots of Windows 8 touch-screen ultrabooks coming, says Intel

The era of the touch-screen laptop is upon us, according to Intel's CEO. The Metro-based Windows 8 interface is driving this mini explosion of touch-enabled products.

Acer Aspire touchscreen ultrabook.
Acer Aspire touchscreen ultrabook. CNET Asia

Get ready for the touch-screen laptop.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini said today that "more than 40" touch-enabled Windows 8-based ultrabooks are in the pipeline. All of those use the chipmaker's Ivy Bridge processor, he said.

Otellini was speaking during a conference call after the company announced second-quarter earnings today.

In total, there are more than 140 Ivy-Bridge based ultrabook designs in the pipeline, he said. About a dozen of those products will be so-called convertibles that allow a laptop to be converted to a tablet.

A recent example of a convertible is the dual-screen Asus Taichi.

Asus Taichi convertible.
Asus Taichi convertible. CNET Asia

Otellini added that "we are very confident that we'll see $699 systems at retail this fall."

Well, they're already here, actually. A glance at Best Buy's ultrabook page shows a new 14-inch HP Envy ultrabook for $699. And an Acer Aspire ultrabook for $648 at Walmart.

And Intel-based tablets using the power-efficient Clover Trail Atom chip are also on the way, according to Otellini. That's in addition to a number of "Core-based tablets," he said, referring to Intel's mainstream i series Core processors.