Shipments of ultrabooks—the lightweight cousins to laptops, and one of the hottest new product categories in electronics— are expected to grow three times faster than shipments of tablet computers, according to a new report from U.K. analyst firm Juniper Research.
By 2016, 178.2 million ultrabooks will be shipped, Juniper Research forecasts, with the majority of them being bought up by customers in North America and Western Europe.
The concept of an “ultrabooks,” a thin, light laptop with a long battery life priced below $1,000, was first introduced by Intel this past year. Meanwhile, Apple’s been making its own thin and light laptop—the MacBook Air—for years.
Juniper's report states: "Apple's Macbook Air represents a symbol of both the opportunity and challenge for the ultrabook... and while it has been very well received, the consistently high price point of the Macbook Air and other Macbook products have meant that they remain a niche segment of the market."
So the question is, can manufacturers keep ultrabook prices down?
At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, we saw a deluge of new ultrabooks computers. Check out our video from the show, Ultrabooks reign, tablets innovate, and read Ultrabooks performed well in our most recent tests.
Consumer Reports ultrabook coverage from the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show:
Samsung introduces a 15-inch thin laptop, and 13- and 14-inch ultrabooks
Intel expects over 75 new ultrabook designs this year
Lenovo unveils new U310 and U410 ultrabooks
Acer launches "world's thinnest" ultrabook
Vizio to enter PC market with desktops and ultrabooks
Ultrabooks & Mobile Computing Strategies & Forecasts 2012-2016 [Juniper Research]