Intel Eyes $699 Ultrabooks in 2012, Touts 75 New Designs

Don't expect the Ultrabook market to grow stale in 2012. On the contrary, Intel on Wednesday revealed that there are no less than 75 new models currently in the pipeline, not all of which stick with the the run-of-the-mill Ultrabook blueprint. New form factors are en route, including hybrid models that can serve as a laptop or a full fledged tablet with a touchscreen display.

"I think we can deliver the best of a tablet, and the best in what (users) know in a notebook," Kirk Skaugen, Intel general manager for the PC Client group, told reporters, according to IDG News.

Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga represents a new class of Ultrabooks that pull double duty as a touchscreen tablet with Windows 8.

Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 OS will help get things going and pave the way for dual purpose Ultrabooks. There will be plenty of other new features as well, though Skaugen didn't go into specifics. What he did say, however, is that Intel expects starting prices to fall to $699. The majority of Ultrabooks out there right now start at $800 and up, though you can find lower priced models here and there.

Intel plans to push the Ultrabook platform harder than it already has. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being poured into TV and online advertisements, and you can expect to see designated "Ultrabook Experience Zones" in retail locations. In order for manufacturers to get their Ultrabook models featured into those zones, they'll have to meet certain requirements that deal with size, speed, and other factors.