Ron DeLine, Intel's director of marketing for the Ultrabook program, conceded that some might "denigrate" Ultrabook manufacturers for "trying to do a Swiss Army knife" with their designs. He countered, however, that devices have naturally converged throughout history. The market has offered dedicated GPS devices with appealing technology, he illustrated, but these products have tended not to sell well because "a phone is not just a phone; it's now also a mapping device."
In other words, new form factors -- such as that of the Dell XPS 12, pictured above -- allow devices to double as both laptops and tablets. Why carry lots of stuff when a single item will do the job?
But the benefits stretch beyond simply carrying fewer devices.
Tablets appeal because they're often more convenient than PCs, and because they're excellent for consumptive activities like watching videos. But they can also change the way companies do business. Information can be visualized and interacted with in new ways. Liberated by mobility and on-the-fly access to CRM content, salespeople and service teams can more effectively engage customers. Healthcare professionals can cut patient wait times and otherwise improve care. The benefits go on -- and they're a big reason why tablet enterprise apps are a growing trend. Touch-based UIs, as the next slide will elaborate, serve only to augment this momentum.
But tablets can't do everything. Access to legacy apps, a need for more computing power -- there are many reasons that laptops remain popular among consumers and necessary among many business users.
Ultrabooks, then, might be ready to break out because convergence form factors promise the best of both worlds; users not only carry fewer items -- they also get more firepower and versatility.