At the CES show, Intel made several new announcements. Most notably, the company says touchscreen ultrabooks will be available by the end of 2013 for under $600.
Computerworld’s James Niccolai reported, “Intel has released a new, low-power Core processor for ultrabooks and pledged that touchscreen ultrabooks will be available for as low as $599 by the end of the year. Ultrabooks are Intel’s effort to breathe new life into the laptop market with thinner and lighter designs. They haven’t been selling like hot cakes, in part because of price, so Monday’s developments could help change that.”
CNET’s Brooke Crothers noted, “Your next laptop may be touch whether you like it or not. ‘To be an ultrabook with 4th generation core [processors], it will be required to have touch,’ said Kirk Skaugen, vice president of Intel’s PC client group at the keynote today, referring to laptops based on Intel’s upcoming ‘Haswell’ chip. That means all ultrabooks coming later this year — likely in the summer timeframe — will have touch, not as a feature, but as standard.”
BYTE’s George Ou commented, “This shows that Intel is serious about making touch a mainstream option in PCs. Multitouch sensors are essentially a $40 component that was traditionally sold as a $400 premium feature in higher end notebooks, but only a tiny percent of PCs to date have shipped with touch screens. By making it mandatory across the board, the retail price markup is brought closer in line with the actual cost of the component. With features like touch and always-on capability in the fourth generation ultrabook, and an attractive $599 price point, the PC is far less likely to cede market share to tablets.”
Time’s Doug Aamoth added, “Intel’s Ultrabook reference design that it’s showing off to hardware partners sports a 13-hour battery life with a screen that pops away from the keyboard to become a 1.9-pound, 0.40-inch tablet with 10 hours of battery life. Skaugen says this jump represents the largest increase in battery life in the company’s history. Hardware similar to this reference design should cost between $799 and $899 when it launches later this year.”