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If demand for larger tablets erodes, can Ultrabooks take their place?

Ian Paul | March 25, 2013
Ultrabook sales may be poised for a boost as more people give up larger tablets like the iPad in favor of 7-inch slates--but also want a larger screen to use for work.

It may be more reasonable then for PC buyers to look to traditional clamshell laptops, which cost from $500 to $600, and offer touchscreens rather than buying fancy hybrid devices.

The other problem for Ultrabooks is Windows 8. Microsoft's latest OS, while selling fairly well, is not yet a blockbuster. Windows 8 didn't do much to boost PC sales over the holiday season, and computer manufacturers are starting to explore options for PCs beyond Windows such as Chromebooks.

Windows is still the most important OS for PC makers, of course, but Microsoft's bold experiment with merging a tablet and desktop interface into one system has yet to pay off.

Microsoft is expected later in 2013 to release a major update for Windows 8, dubbed Windows Blue, which could make the OS more appealing to everyday users. If Windows 8 gains more appeal at the same time as manufacturers are able to lower prices for convertibles and laptops with detachable screens, then it's conceivable for Ultrabooks to become a popular choice.

But a lot of variables have to line up just right for Ultrabooks to take off in the face of a potential decline in 10-inch tablets.


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