Analysts think Intel Ultrabooks will sell like hot cakes -

Beancounters are convinced that Intel's cunning plan of flooding the market with lots of Ultrabooks will pay off.

Antonio Wang, a senior research manager at research firm IDC told PC World that sales of Ultrabooks will be much stronger due to a flood of models which are expected to arrive on the market.

However, he warned that pricing and competition from tablets will continue to temper consumer interest in Ultrabooks.

One of the biggest problems with Ultrabooks remains pricing. Intel claims that they will cost $699 within several months during the back-to-school period. This will mean that more people will buy, but the price tag is probably too expensive, given that they are competing with tablets.

Wang said that Ultrabooks are now designed for a larger range of groups including consumers, gamers and business users. Last year there were only 10 Ultrabook models on the market, he said.

There will be Ultrabooks with 11-inch screens to 15-inch screens, some on the low-end and some on the high-end for price, Wang added.

IDC projects 30 million to 40 million ultrabooks will be sold worldwide in 2012.

But he warned that Ultrabooks will still face competition from tablets, which better cater to users with lighter computing needs.  Microsoft's upcoming Window 8 OS will pave the way for notebooks using ARM-based processors to compete with Intel-backed Ultrabooks.

Pin-Chen Tang, an analyst with research firm Canalys, said Intel and Ultrabook vendors will need to bring the starting price down to US$300 or $400, what some "traditional" laptops sell for on the market.