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Touchscreen ultrabooks coming with Windows 8 Intel threatens

"More than 40" ultra-thin Intel-powered machines with touchscreens are in development, according to chip chief Paul Otellini.

Look out, laptop lovers! Intel's threatening to ruin your pulchritudinous portable PC with a smeary great touchscreen. Well, not your laptop of course, that's perfectly safe. But future ultrabooks are set to include touchscreen tech to make the most of Windows 8. Think of the children!

"More than 40" ultra-thin Intel-powered machines with pokable displays are in development, according to chip chief Paul Otellini. They all use the company's latest Ivy Bridge chips, the CEO told our US chums at CNET News.

Microsoft is eager for Windows to become all touchy feely, with Windows 8 featuring a somewhat confusing half-touch, half-cursor interface.

It's all part of the drive to make Windows central to your mobile world, with Windows Phones and Windows RT tablets all offering very similar experiences. Whether that's what anyone actually wants is yet to be determined.

Otellini reckons about a quarter of the new touchscreen devices will have detachable screens, like the Android-based Asus Transformer series. That means you can take a tablet to bed to watch something dreamy with Ryan Gosling, then plug in the keyboard in the morning to get down to serious business.

Asus Taichi

The first specific model we've seen, however, is the Asus Taichi (above), a crazy-looking two-screen affair, with a standard 11.6-inch display inside and another outside that comes to life when you close the lid and hit the Windows button.

That sounds utterly bonkers to me -- you'll be paying for two screens when you can only use one at a time. Plus using it as a tablet will be really heavy (the keyboard isn't detachable, presumably because the motherboard is underneath it) and the touchscreen will get all scratched up in your bag.

Otellini also promised more cheap ultrabooks, below $700 (£500ish), and some tablets with Intel's power-parsimonious Clover Trail Atom chips. They'll be running Android or Windows RT, I would guess.

Do you think we'll all be poking our laptop screens in a few years' time? Is that better than a fiddly trackpad? Or should tablets be a different thing entirely? Poke around in the comments, or scrawl on our Facebook wall.