Dozens of touch ultrabook designs for Windows 8
Intel believes Windows 8 is set to bring many touch-enabled ultrabooks to the market, with around 30 designs in the pipeline. And not all are expected to flip, swivel, detach or slide.
At Computex in Taiwan, Intel has told CNET Australia that of the 110 ultrabook designs in the pipeline for third-generation Intel Core processors, 30 feature touchscreen designs, with only 10 of those in a convertible form factor.
You may have noticed the new ultrabook ads. In bus stops and on television, for the first time Intel is doing its own direct promotional activity.
Sitting down to discuss the start of the serious marketing push for Intel's third-generation Core processor (codenamed Ivy Bridge), Regis, Intel's director of consumer client marketing, explained that the meeting of the ultrabook concept with Intel's new 22nm processors leaves no question that this idea is ready for prime time.
"This year's range is really going to drive 22nm into the mainstream," Regis said. "Remember, it was just a year ago at Computex that we made the [ultrabook] announcement. This is now our biggest marketing campaign since we did the Centrino campaign back in 2003. So we're really happy with the momentum we're seeing in ultrabook."
There are five new "ultra" processors in the overall Ivy Bridge line-up: two Core i5 and two Core i7 processors today, plus one Core i3, which will arrive a little later in the month. An "ultra" processor runs at 17W of power, granting the system all of the opportunities around power consumption and easier cooling processes.
With this second generation of the ultrabook concept itself, there are many more designs preparing for market. After 21 designs appeared for the first generation of the ultrabook, Intel is tracking 110 new designs in all, with 35 designs expected to be on show at Computex 2012. Most of these 35 designs will hit the market by the end of the month.
Regis also noted that the first generation of the ultrabook saw a number of notable manufacturers absent from the space. She expects that we will hear from many of those companies this week about their plans for ultrabooks based on the latest Ivy Bridge processors. We have already seen Sony join the ultrabook party.
With Windows 8 on the way, Regis also pointed out that touch is clearly something that everyone is thinking about.
"Touch, we think, will start to come to market, and we think Windows 8 will be a huge driver for touch," she said. "We also believe touch will come to some clamshell ultrabooks. In fact, our research bears out that users like it and want it. Kids touch everything now, and expect it to be touch-enabled.
"We're tracking around 30 touch-enabled designs, and of those about 10 are looking to be convertible. These aren't hard numbers until they come to market, but that's what we see coming down the pike."
So, while touch designs often conjure the image of designs that flip, swivel, detach or slide, it seems that most manufacturers see touch as something to be offered on even the most traditional designs.