Many people are still catching up with the year of the tablet, but will 2012 be the year of the Ultrabook for those who don't already have a MacBook Air?
An Ultrabook is an ultraportable laptop computer in a category defined by Intel. They feature reduced size and weight while retaining standard performance by utilizing low-power Intel CULV processors with integrated graphics, solid-state drives, and unibody chassis.
We seem to go around in circles when it comes to mobile devices. First, we use a laptop that has a keyboard. Then, we all go out to get tablets, but we attach them to removable keyboards when we want to enter a lot of data. Tablets are great for information consumption, but we're still drawn to keyboards for data entry. Now, are we circling back to ultraportable laptops. Next, we'll find that ultrabooks will come with removable screens that function as independent tablets so you can leave the keyboard behind.
The last scenario already exists with devices like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, but this is a device running Android OS, not Microsoft Windows. Then again, Lenovo announced their IdeaPad YOGA which runs Microsoft Windows and allows you to use the device as a slate tablet or a notebook (you can also use it as a "stand" or "tent.")
I think 2012 will be the year of the Ultrabook and 2013 will be the year when tablets and laptops truly merge as a single device where users have the option of a removable keyboard.