(Updates share price in last paragraph.)
Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Hewlett-Packard Co., which last month abandoned a proposal to spin off its personal-computer unit, plans to introduce its first lightweight ultrabook laptop to compete with Apple Inc.’s MacBook Air.
The HP Folio laptop, has a 13.3-inch (33.8 centimeters) screen, weighs 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) and is 0.7 inches thick. The PC will go on sale Dec. 7 at a starting price of $900, according to a statement. It’s Hewlett-Packard’s first entry into the ultrabook category of laptops created by chipmaker Intel Corp. The new standard offers slim designs, instant startup and all-day battery life.
The idea is to make Windows laptops that can compete more closely with Apple’s skinny MacBook Air, which starts at $999 with an 11-inch screen and $1,299 for a 13-inch model. Hewlett- Packard, based in Palo Alto, California, plans to sell the Folio to consumers and business users and it includes an ethernet port for use in hotel rooms that don’t feature WiFi, Mike Hockey, a company spokesman, said in an interview.
The Folio is part of Hewlett-Packard’s holiday lineup of PCs and follows Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman’s Oct. 27 decision to keep the company’s $41 billion PC division in-house. Her predecessor, Leo Apotheker, said in August he was exploring a possible spinoff of the business.
The HP Folio features a metal case, 4 gigabytes of memory, a solid-state hard drive and Intel’s Core i5 chip, the company said in the statement. Hewlett-Packard said the Folio’s battery can run as long as nine hours without recharging.
Intel’s Mobile Push
Intel, the largest chipmaker, is seeking to extend its dominance to the mobile market, having made little headway in the tablet-computer sector. Recent floods in Thailand have also limited supplies of hard-disk drives used in PCs.
Santa Clara, California-based Intel doesn’t make ultrabook laptops. Having created the specifications, it leaves the manufacturing to partners, such as Acer Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. Dell Inc. plans to offer an ultrabook late in the fiscal year that ends in January, the company told analysts yesterday.
Hewlett-Packard is scheduled to report fiscal fourth- quarter earnings Nov. 21. Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, reported fiscal third-quarter revenue of $15.4 billion yesterday that was little changed from a year earlier and trailed analyst estimates of $15.7 billion. Citing an “uncertain macroeconomic environment,” the company said revenue growth this year would be on the “lower end” of a prior forecast of 1 percent to 5 percent.
Hewlett-Packard fell 0.8 percent to $28.02 at 9:45 a.m. New York time. The shares had declined 33 percent this year before today. Dell dropped 1.9 percent to $15.33.
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