Tablet computers passe? Here come ultrabooks.

Tablet computers were ubiquitous at CES 2011, thanks to iPad. Ultrabooks will be featured at CES 2012, thanks to MacBook Air. But 100 tablet computers are expected to debut.

Jae C. Hong/AP/File
An image of Steve Jobs is shown on a Macbook Air laptop at the Apple Store in Santa Monica, Calif., last month to mark his passing. Just as the iPad inspired a legion of tablet computers, the MacBook Air has spawned ultrabook computers, which will be featured at CES 2012.

Tablet computers were everywhere during CES 2011, following the success of the iPad, but come next year, thin and light Ultrabooks will likely be hogging the spotlight (yes, following the success of the MacBook Air).

Between 30 and 50 different Ultrabooks will be featured on the CES 2012 show floor in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) revealed during a press event in London today.

As PC Pro notes, the news comes as a bit of surprise since we’ve only seen a few manufacturers announce Ultrabooks so far, including AsusAcerHP and Toshiba. Other PC manufacturers are expected to be waiting for the new Intel Ivy Bridge 22-nanometer processors, which will be released some time next year, before stepping into the Ultrabook arena.

Intel, not surprisingly, is heavily hyping Ultrabooks, which are pretty much direct rivals to Apple’s MacBook Air. In August, Intel announced that it was creating a $300 million Ultrabook fund to encourage manufacturers to develop the ultrathin laptops.

But if you’re somehow not sick of tablets yet, don’t fret: CEA director of research Shawn DuBravac said there will still be plenty of tablets during this year’s CES. Around 100 (!) tablets were announced at the last CES, and he expects a similar number come January.

Because that’s what the world needs, another 100 look-alike tablets.

See also:

Motorola Mobility shareholders vote yes on a buy-out by Google 
iPad has 88% of global tablet web traffic, but Kindle Fire could start eating it

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