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Intel sees ultrabook prices dropping to $699 this year

With 75 new ultrabook models already in the development stage, the chip giant thinks prices will fall below the $700 point in time for back-to-school shoppers.

Ultrabooks are expected to heat up even further by this summer, according to one of their major proponents.

Currently selling at $800 and higher, the light and thin laptops will finally ring in at starting prices of $699 in time for the back-to-school shopping crowd, says Intel.

At the same time, a slew of new models will reach the market, including hybrids that can function as either a laptop or a tablet and ones that offer touchscreens to take advantage of Windows 8, reported IDG News.

Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing today, Kirk Skaugen, Intel general manager for the PC Client group, confirmed that around 75 Ivy Bridge 3rd Generation Core ultrabooks are being developed and slated for debut in the spring.

Since cooking up the Ultrabook concept almost a year ago, Intel has been pushing the lightweight format, even going so far as to a create $300 million Ultrabook Fund last summer as an investment in the technology.

To further promote the light and thin machines, Intel will kick off a "multi-hundred million dollar" marketing campaign with TV and Internet ads, Skaugen added. The company also plans to hit retail outlets with "ultrabook experience zones," according to IDG News, to better help customers see and experience the differences between Ultrabooks and more conventional laptops.