updated 08:15 pm EDT, Sat October 1, 2011
Dell ultrabook may get CES reveal
Dell's plans to enter, or possibly return, to the ultrabook category may be timed around the CES expo. Contacts said Saturday that the ultraportable notebook would arrive in January. Details weren't identified in the CNET sighting, although it would coincide with the formal Intel reveal for Ivy Bridge, its 22 nanometer chip architecture.
Whether or not Dell would use Ivy Bridge is indefinite. Ivy Bridge promises power and performance improvements Dell might want, such as 4K display support. Intel may not ship it until March or later, however, and could leave Dell showing an early prototype.
The info slip if accurate is minimal, but it would be consistent with Dell's tendency to unveil projects at CES early. It regularly holds a press event at an off-site hotel each year to preview its lineup, sometimes several months before the products ship.
Dell is considered one of the early participants in the category that would eventually morph into Intel's ultrabook concept. It chased Apple's original MacBook Air with the Adamo 13 and later with the at the time radically designed Adamo XPS (pictured). Even more so than Apple at the time, however, it was hampered by high prices and ultraportable Intel chips that had both very slow graphics and short battery lives, which dipped to just 2.5 hours on the XPS. The Adamo XPS was phased out and brought back briefly after several months under the guise of being a special edition, while the Adamo 13 was given numerous price cuts through its life until it was finally dropped entirely just this February.
Intel is spurring on companies like Dell, as well as Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba, to create ultrabooks as a response to the sudden success of the second-generation MacBook Air design. While Apple sees the Air as bringing some of the best parts of the iPad to notebooks, Intel sees it as a way of minimizing the damage done to PC sales by Apple's tablet.