Ultrabooks, 'every screen' eventually touch, says Intel

Ultrabooks and just about any other Windows 8 device you can think of will come with touch, Intel tells CNET.

HP's Spectre XT TouchSmart 15.6-inch laptop is an ultrabook with a 1920x1080 touch display.
HP's Spectre XT TouchSmart 15.6-inch laptop is an ultrabook with a 1920x1080 touch display. CNET

Apple take note. An Intel executive says everything is going the way of touch.

"Intel has put its money where its conviction is" and invested heavily in touch screens, Rob DeLine, director of Ultrabook product marketing at Intel, said in an interview.

DeLine pointed out that although there are plenty of touch screens that are 10 inches and smaller avaialable, that isn't the case for larger sizes.

The larger-screen ecosystem "really didn't exist," he said. "The ecosystem for 10-inch and below for tablets is pretty mature. So, we've made investments to ensure that there is capacity [for larger touch screens]."

Touch screen-related companies that Intel has invested in "to make sure capacity is not an issue" include Cando, HannsTouch, TPK, and Wintek.

And every ultrabook, laptop, all-in-one (AIO) desktop will eventually have some touch capability, DeLine said.

"Every screen in the future is going to have some level of touch. We're looking for a pretty aggressive ramp" in 2013, he said.

Apple indicated earlier this year that touch isn't suitable for a MacBook-like device. But Microsoft is pushing PC makers to include this capability on all kinds of Windows 8 computers because of Windows 8's touch-centric interface.

DeLine also talked about ultrabook pricing.

He pointed to Dell's $599 ultrabook, the Inspiron 14z and said that a number of ultrabooks priced around $699 can be found on Amazon.

"There will be more and more [models] at $699," he said.

And what kind of premium will consumers pay for touch? "Touch adds maybe $100," he said. So, until touch-panel pricing comes down, ultrabooks with that capability will be more expensive.

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