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Ivy Bridge Ultrabook Prototypes Provide Preview of 2012's Slimmest Designs

Intel's Ivy Bridge 22nm platform won't appear until the first half of 2012, but the chipmaker rounded up a number of sample Ivy Bridge ultrabooks from the world's leading ODMs to give the public a taste of the thin systems to come. At IDF 2011, Intel displayed half a dozen prototypes in its ultrabook pavilion and on stage during the day two keynote speech.

None of the Ivy Bridge ultrabooks we saw will ship in the exact format we saw, both because of design and spec changes and because the systems were displayed under the names of their original design manufacturers. As you may know, ODMs like Pegatron, Inventec, Compal, and Quanta actually design and build a lot of the notebooks that eventually come to store shelves under the brand names you've come to know. 

The Ivy Bridge ultrabooks on display included 13 and 14-inch entries from many well-known ODMs. Here's what we saw:

Pegratron 13-inch Ultrabook

Pegratron is the ODM arm of ASUS so you never know where this ultrabook, which sports a 13.3-inch 1366 x 768 matte display and a chrome colored clickpad, might end up.

Pegatron 14-inch Ultrabook

 Another Pegatron ultrabook had a 14-inch screen, an optical drive, and a raised palmrest that reminded us of the Acer's TimelineX AS5820TG

Foxconn 13-inch Ultrabook Prototype

This slick all-black design is our favorite from the display. The Foxconn ultrabook sports a 13-inch, 1366 x 768 display, 3 USB 3.0 ports, and a SIM card slot.

LG Shuriken 18 Ultrabook

This 13-incher from LG has the company's famous thin-bezel screen and something truly unique -- a glossy black plastic body with white plastic keys and a tiny touchpad. Some would call this design cheap looking, but we'll just call it unique. Since LG does sell products under its own brand name, we might see this ultrabook appear in Europe or Asia where LG notebooks are more common.

Inventec 13-inch Ultrabook

Inventec's 13-incher looked a lot like Pegatron's, but has a black clickpad and glossy screen, along with two USB 3.0 ports and a card reader.

Quanta Ultrabook

Another all-black Ivy Bridge ultrabook, this 13-incher from Quanta has a USB 3.0 port and HDMI out.

Compal 13-inch Ultrabook

This 13-incher has sides that are more squared off and an attractive textured palmrest.

Check out our hands-on video and gallery below to get a closer look at these six Ivy Bridge ultrabooks.