Intel opened with that goofy guy from “Evolution of Dance,” which wasn’t very encouraging. However, things got better quickly.
Intel is coming down hard on the ultrabook this year, showing off a number of interesting 2+ GHz laptops with Intel processors that can do much more in a package the size of a Macbook Air. These new machines are slim, small, and based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge architecture.
[We are streaming this press conference live right here]
The demos included a super-fast render of a cute photo sharing app including lots of hi-res photos stuffed into a slideshow as well as a clever demo involving a train going over a bridge. The bridge, made up of hundreds of individual parts, is blown up and each part rendered in real time using 50% the processing power of the current chipset, Sandy Bridge.
In addition, the new system allows for secure NFC connectivity. For example, you can “tap” your credit card on the laptop to make a purchase, provided you have NFC capabilities built-in. Each machine manages “correct” cards to ensure that your card won’t work if your card falls into the wrong hands.
Most important, this chipset allows for a much thinner machine. Most laptops go from 9.5mm to 6.5mm with socketless chips that are soldered right into the motherboard (something hackers will hate) as well as improved heat dispersion.
Intel is serious about ultrabooks. They’ve already announced a $300 million dollar investment to reduce the price of thin components and prices are all ready at a commodity price. Interestingly, I suspect that these laptops will become the de facto standard, eventually pushing the standard, inch-think laptop to the side. They couldn’t pull off netbooks, but I think the ultrabook is the new hotness.