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By M Wagner ·
In the mid 1990's Toshiba introduced the Portege line of ultra-light laptops. The first laptop I ever saw was a Toshiba 80286-based, "plug-in laptop" computer.

They were pricey (~$3500) but in the 1990's, desktop systems were ~$2,000 and laptop/notebooks started at $3,000 so this was to be expected.

Today, the Toshiba Portege starts at $900.

Dell has also been making "ultra-lights" for a number of years.

The term "ultrabook" is more marketing than anything else. Apple's MacBook Air was once a pricey high-end product. Today, Apple has placed it at Apple's entry-level price-point of $999.

Intel's response is to create a new category called "ultrabooks" - it seems to me that their intent is to put ultrabooks up against the MacBook Air at a starting price point of $1,000.

The irony is that, in 2012 dollars, consumers are "used to" paying $500 to $800 for Windows laptops and they are used to paying $1,000 to $1,500 for Apple laptops so creating this NEW category, which has actually been around for FIFTEEN years will offer Windows OEMS little competitive advantage over Apple.

Go figure.

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