Hewlett Packard is vying to be the first company to release an Ultrabook, a lightweight form factor for portable computers conceived by Intel, the Taiwan-based technology news outlet DigiTimes reported on Monday.
An HP spokesperson declined to comment on the DigiTimes report, citing the company's policy of not commenting on rumor or speculation.
Asus was expected to be the first ODM (original design manufacturer) to bring an Ultrabook to market after Asus Chairman Jonney Shih introduced Asus' UX21 Ultrabook at Computex. The UX21 is widely expected to launch in September, but HP will launch its Ultrabook in advance of Asus, according to the DigiTimes report.
Intel originally promoted the idea of the Ultrabook in May at Computex in Taiwan. Intel defines this mobile device category as a laptop that is less than 0.8-inches thick, costs less than $1,000 and runs on a low-power Intel chip.
The first generation of Ultrabooks will be powered by one of three Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs. The three available chips currently available are lower-power versions of the dual-core Sandy Bridge processor. The 1.7GHz Core i5-2557M, 1.7GHz Core i7-2637M, and 1.8GHz Core i7-2677M each use 17 watts of power, compared with 35 watts for the standard Sandy Bridge processors.
The second phase of Ultrabooks will be available around the launch of Intel's Ivy Bridge processors in the first half of 2012. The 22-nm CPU will increase the efficiency of power consumption in laptops while improving visual performance, increasing responsiveness, and enhancing security, according to Intel Executive VP Sean Maloney's presentation at Computex.
The third phase of Ultrabooks begins in 2013, when Intel will unveil the Haswell family of processors. Intel expects these microprocessors to reduce power consumption by 50 percent over today's models, enabling laptops to become lighter and thinner.
Maloney said Intel expects Ultrabooks to make up 40 percent of the PC market by the end of 2012.