At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco today, Intel shared a few tidbits with the audience, including details of its push into the Ultrabook segment blazed by the MacBook Air. Among the most exciting goals was a planned 10-day connected standby time for the platform by 2013.
From the attitude of CEO Paul Otellini on stage, it seems clear that Intel completely supports the new Ultrabook platform push. Unlike their tablet and phone platforms, the company wasn't waving around any next-generation prototype ultrabook hardware; they were, however, showing off Toshiba's own efforts in the space.
In terms of where Intel sees the market going, they want ultrabooks to become the new standard by which all notebooks are judged. It's possible that they just might get their way, too. Currently, ultrabooks can be thin and sleek, but, like the MacBook Air, they simply can't compete in terms of other notebooks' price and performance ratio.
Chip architecture is growing ever more powerful, though, and since the next generation of Windows is reported to require a similar or even lower level of equipment as Windows 7, the next series of Ultrabooks could really introduce a profound change in the market. The meteoric, if unstable, rise in netbook growth shows that people want small, light computers. Ultrabooks are a little pricier than their netbook brethren, but are vastly less expensive than comparable ultraportable competitors. In terms of carving out a new niche, a sub-$1000 price point isn't a bad place to start.
The part of the ultrabook discussion that stole everybody's attention this morning was when Otellini turned to battery life. Intel's next-next-generation microarchitecture, codenamed Haswell, is suppoedly going to introduce substantive power savings over current-generation hardware. Intel claims that Haswell will finally introduce the concept of all-day computing - it's not the first time that phrase has been slung around, but current manufacturers achieve it by plugging in three or even four different batteries.
In addition to a 30% drop in connected standby power, Intel is promising an estimated 20X decrease in connected platform power draw. That is a pretty incredible savings, and it means that the ultrabooks that will ship in the 2013 holiday solution will have 10 full days of connected standby time.
Stay tuned for more news from IDF, and be sure to check out sister site DesktopReview.com for the latest updates!
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