Ultrabooks Uncovered

The world of computing is in the midst of a sea change. Some might call it a “strategic inflection point.” You can see it all around, especially in the massive growth of device types — smartphones, tablets, hybrid devices, e-readers, netbooks, Chromebooks. It’s a time of great creative ferment. We at Intel love this. The variety of all of these different devices is changing how people think about computing. In terms of the devices themselves, we are working hard to bring the benefits of Intel technology not only to improve the overall mobile experience, but to revolutionize it.

In case you didn’t catch it, one of the more interesting recent disclosures related to this happened at Computex last month in Taiwan. Intel’s Sean Maloney and Mooly Eden provided further details on the significant changes Intel is making to the Intel Core processor roadmap to enable a new mainstream line of mobile computers, called Ultrabook. This new breed of devices will combine best in class performance, responsiveness and security in thin and light, elegant form factors. Eventually you’ll think of an Ultrabook as a tablet when you want it, a PC when you need it. This is an historic change that we believe will redefine the computing experience. We’ve been mapping out these changes over the past several months and they aren’t trivial. They will impact the physical shape and capabilities of personal computing devices and require substantial changes to the way Intel and its partners design, produce and market devices and their components. Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said in our most recent earnings announcement that he’s pleased with the industry response and customer commitments around this new product category. Sean and Mooly explained that Ultrabooks will arrive in phases. Phase 1 was kicked off when Intel introduced its latest Ultra-Low Voltage 2nd Generation Intel Core processors in June that will bring new systems to shelves this holiday season. Phase 2 centers around the next generation Intel microarchitecture code name Ivy Bridge processors scheduled for availability in systems in the first half of 2012. Laptops based on Ivy Bridge will bring improved power efficiency, smart visual performance, increased responsiveness and enhanced security. Faster I/O such as USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt technologies are also part of Intel’s ongoing work to drive the PC platform forward. Intel microarchitecture code name Haswell is the third phase toward accelerating the Ultrabook and reinventing the capabilities of the laptop in ultra thin and light, responsive and secure designs. With Haswell, Intel will transform the computing experience with more power efficient processors that allow a more dynamic experience in insanely sleek systems.
In late 2011, you’ll begin to see systems that offer: 

  • Thin/light designs
    • Less than 21 mm thick – some much thinner than even that.
  • Ultra-fast start up
    • Intel Rapid Start Technology gets your system up and running faster from even the deepest sleep, saving time and battery life.
      • PC wakes up almost instantly – Quick access to your data and applications
  • Extended battery life
    • Ultrabooks will offer 5 hours of battery life even in the sleekest form factors with some systems delivering 8 hours or more for all-day usage.
  • Security enabled

Intel has a strong track record in delivering innovation and growth in computing by employing our core assets of architecture, engineering, and manufacturing leadership. We transitioned to multimedia instructions with Pentium in 1995 and the mobile PC market with Centrino in 2003. We are confident we have the right set of technologies to influence a major change once again.

Here’s the thing: We are totally jazzed about all of this. It’s a good time to be working in this industry and it’s awesome time to be working at Intel. It’s also a fantastic time to be a user of technology – never before have we had so many choices of devices to suit our personal needs and lifestyles. If you think today’s variety of computing devices is exciting, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Speaking of which, what new features, designs or experiences would you like to see from your future mobile device? Would it look much like the laptops or tablets of today or would it be something completely different? What would you call it? We’d like to hear from you!

 

Becky Emmett

About Becky Emmett

Having joined Intel in 2008, Becky Emmett manages the PC client, Ultrabook and consumer PR team within Intel’s Global Communication Group. She received a B.S. from Portland State University and has since spent the last 13 years working in the public relations industry, primarily in the technology space. When not at work, Becky enjoys spending time with her husband, two sons and daughter. She is also an avid blogger and can’t seem to log out of Twitter and Facebook.

5 Responses to Ultrabooks Uncovered

  1. Richard Williams says:

    I have read everything that I’ve been able to get my hands on concerning ultrabooks. It’s a very exciting platform. I do have some questions. Is the ultrabook intended to work like a convertible PC i.e. “tablet when you want it and PC when you need it”? Will it have a touch screen that can rotate and lie flat? My current laptop has a touchscreen, but I find that I never use this feature because the keyboard is in the way. Also, will processors for Ultrabooks perform via turbo boost in league with “regular” notebook chips in Ivy Bridge and beyond, or will they continue to have a separate “low power” category for ultrabook chips? And will the Ultrabooks be passively cooled? Whatever happened to ionic wind cooling that everyone was talking about a few years ago that would enable thin and light fanless laptops with high efficiency cooling? To me, an ultrabook would have all these things–convertible touch screen, ionic wind cooling, no compromise performance. I mean, Windows 8 is coming, and won’t make much sense if the ultrabook doesn’t have an unencumbered touchscreen.
    Thanks, and keep up the great work!

  2. Martin Gugino says:

    I am looking for a laptop with USB3 and fast processors. The SSD could be a USB3 stick, but I’d like a recessed port for that, so the stick doesn’t stick out.
    No more inserting cards: push in a USB3.

  3. Leonard says:

    I hope for an ultrabook with only minimum features positioned as an entry-level ultrabook priced at an entry-level. (eg. featuring only usb2.0 ports; no thunderbolt etc.)

  4. ajwest says:

    Gaming, Gaming, Gaming. High-def 3D Video Synthesis with REAL-TIME RAY TRACING. Go high or just feed the masses. Computing has always been about eyes and ears. Sound is covered pretty well. But, where’s the SLI or CrossFire going to fit in a mobile device?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m excited about merging tablets and laptops. But as some commentors have already mentioned, I would really like to see a laptop that can completely convert into a tablet (ie, screen turns around and flips on top of keyboard with screen on top). The tablet setup is incredibly useful for travel, as it’s easier to read and use the touch screen without the keyboard getting in the way. But a full keyboard is an absolute necessity, as my ipad 2 is nothing more than a big portable reader that I browse with; it can’t be used for real work. I really like the ultrabook idea, I just hope it’s done right and combines the best of tablet portability and ease-of-use with the best of laptop’s productivity.