Intel promises battery boost in Haswell, Merrifield, Bay Trail

Intel promises a battery boost in new laptops, phones and tablets thanks to the new Haswell, Merrifield and Bay Trail processors.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Intel promises a big battery boost in new laptops, phones and tablets thanks to the next generation of processors. Offering more detail on its new Haswell, Merrifield and Bay Trail chips, Intel says they'll be more powerful yet last longer too.

Intel claims up to three hours more battery life for new ultrabooks packing Haswell chips, stretching out to as much as nine hours of use.

Haswell is the codename for the next-generation processors in the Core i3, i5 and i7 series. They appear in desktop computers, ultrabooks and mobile devices, bringing varying advantages to each.

The powerful processors have integrated graphics so should be better at handling intense on-screen action like gaming and video editing.

Haswell-equipped devices will wake up faster -- Intel says ultrabooks will wake in less than 3 seconds. And Wi-Di 4.1 is built into the new chips, for wirelessly connecting to a TV or monitor, as long as it's compatible with Wi-Di.

Haswell chips will begin to appear in high-end computers first, before trickling down into a wider range of devices towards the end of the year. They won't be called Haswell when they appear in computers -- Haswell is a generic codename -- but you'll be able to tell if your intended purchase has one of the cutting-edge fourth-generation chips by looking for a 4 in the middle of the processor's name. For example, the Core i7-4650U processor.

Alongside Haswell, Intel has also detailed Bay Trail, the next generation of Atom processor for lower-cost and mobile kit. The 22nm Atom Merrifield chip is designed for smart phones, as Intel attempts to break Qualcomm's stranglehold on the world of phones.

Intel current Medfield chips are currently only found in a couple of phones, including the Orange San Diego. The new Merrifield chips look to change that, as will promised Bay Trail chips, based on the Silvermont architecture.

Which is more important to you when you buy a new laptop, phone or tablet: increased power or improved battery life? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our long-lasting Facebook page.