Intel: Ultrabooks Will Render iPad and MacBook Air Obsolete

Intel: Ultrabooks Will Render iPad and MacBook Air Obsolete

There’s two common favorite hobbies among Apple’s competitors these days: Comparing their products to Apple’s, and pretending that Apple is doomed. This time around, it’s Intel’s turn, with two Intel executives talking smack about Apple in an interview with PC World.

The executives, Intel product manager Anand Kajshmanan and Intel media relations representative Alison Wesley, take a moment to talk up the Intel-funded Ultrabook spec – an ultra-thin netbook design to compete with the MacBook Air.

When asked about what an ‘Ultrabook’ is and what makes it different, Intel stated:

“Ultra” means pinnacle, and we wanted the Ultrabook to be the pinnacle of everything that users have come to expect from their computing device.

Perhaps Steve Jobs himself said it best when introducing the iPad in 2010: “…Browsing the web. Doing email. Enjoying and sharing pics. Watching videos. Enjoying music. Playing games. Reading ebooks. If there’s going to be a third category [in between computers and smartphones] it has to be better at these tasks […] some people thought that was a netbook — the problem is that netbooks aren’t better at anything.

When asked how the Ultrabook compares to a MacBook Air (which, of course, run on Intel processors), the response was similarly self-admiring:

The MacBook Air is a great product, sure […] it’s a great choice for someone who wants to invest in the Mac operating system, and it offers some of the things we talked about. But really, with the Ultrabook, it’s about offering allthose things in the same device–the great responsiveness, the great battery life–and with an operating system that people have come to love over the years, as well as all the legacy applications that they would like to run.

People don’t love OS X? I beg to differ. In fact, while I’ve heard numerous people say they love the Mac, or the latest version of OS X, I can’t recall a single time having heard anybody say “I love Windows.” Ever. Not even once. Besides, the MacBook Air can run Windows. Can Ultrabooks run OS X? No. So which device is more capable? You tell me…

Finally, the very worst of Intel’s comments may have been directed towards the iPad, of which they stated:

…Every time we’ve done market research, consumers have told us, “We love touch, but don’t touch our keyboards.” Even for email, people prefer keyboards. There’s no tactile feedback on touchscreens. 

The fact that you have content creation on Ultrabooks is a huge differentiator. […] Consumers have told us that tablets are great for certain things like content consumption and casual gaming, but when there’s real work to be done, they really like to do it on a laptop.

So, the iPad isn’t a content creation device? It can’t be used to create documents, create, compile, and edit movies, record and arrange music, edit photos, or create slideshows? Fascinating. As for the keyboard: Typing isn’t great on a touchscreen. I get that. But isn’t it a bit too convenient that Intel forgot to mention that the iPad will work with any Bluetooth-enabled keyboard on the market?

Yet another case of the pie-in-the-sky, Apple-is-doomed optimism that nearly all of Apple’s competitors seem to have. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be enough to prevent them from copying Apple’s designs (or at least ideas) time after time after time. Sigh.