Intel's even thinner ultrabook of the future

Intel gives conference-goers a glimpse of thinner ultrabooks today at its annual conference.

In this slide, Intel shows how thin major components need to be to make an ultrabook that is 15mm thick at its thickest point.
In this slide, Intel shows how thin major components need to be to make an ultrabook that is 15mm thick at its thickest point. Intel

So, just how thin will future touch screen ultrabooks get? Intel provides plenty of guidance on how to get there.

Ultrabooks these days typically range between 17mm (0.66 inches) and 20mm (0.78 inches) in thickness. With the emergence of Windows 8 tablet-esque ultrabooks with touchscreens, Intel wants to shave off a few more millimeters.

At its annual conference today, Intel released a slide (above) showing a touch screen ultrabook with a thinly-sliced 2.5mm keyboard (Microsoft's Surface tablet has a keyboard that is 3mm thin by comparison), a sub 0.5mm touch panel, and a 5mm hard disk drive.

It just so happens that Western Digital has been teasing a 5mm hard disk drive this week.

Western Digital's 5mm drive comes in a capacity of 500GB with a solid-state cache.
Western Digital's 5mm drive comes in a capacity of 500GB with a solid-state cache. Anandtech

And that's not all. Intel will be offering future "Haswell" 4th Generation Core processors next year that are rated at 10 watts and below -- low-heat, power-frugal chips perfectly suitable for ultrabooks of these dimensions.

There will also be limited availability of current "Ivy Bridge" chips at 10 watts, said Rob DeLine, director of Ultrabook product marketing today in an interview.

And let's not forget Microsoft's upcoming Intel-based Surface tablet. That will be a mere 13.5mm thick.

Acer also has a very skinny ultrabook on the way. Its upcoming sub-15mm-thick (that's less than 0.6 inches) Aspire S7 is due by October.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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