Intel CEO Paul Otellini came to the defence of PCs at an industry conference, outlining his belief that the so-called ultrabook will do more to meet consumer and business needs.

"Intel loves PCs," Otellini said at Dell World, although he added that PCs "are taken for granted to some extent because they are so useful." But Otellini also that "to some extent, the evolution of the PC has been retarded, I think in the last few years."

Earlier this year, Intel announced a new class of laptops, called ultrabooks, with a thin and light design, and some of the touchscreen characteristics of tablets. The initial entries into this market, some of which are priced at more than £600, have drawn criticism from analysts.

In an effort to help make ultrabooks affordable, Intel in August announced a $300 million fund to help component suppliers, such as builders of touchscreens and low profile disk drives, to cut costs.

"Ultrathin today has an ultrahigh premium," Otellini said. The hope is that with the ultrabook fund, the price of the components will come down "much faster than we would have seen otherwise."

PC sales have been sluggish. Both IDC and Gartner, in reports last week for the most recent quarter, said PC shipments had failed to meet expectations. IDC said PC shipments increased by 3.6% year-over-year, while Gartner put the figure at 3.2% for the same period.

Analysts have blamed the economy and competition from tablets for weak PC sales.

Otellini said its ultrabook hasn't been released, but is due next year. Windows 8 is also expected next year, and Otellini said the new Microsoft operating system will be critical to the ultrabook. "We think that Windows 8 on Intel architecture, particularly in ultrabook, will give you the ultimate experience," he said.