ThinkPad Helix, Image: Lenovo
Intel has redefined its requirements for the super-thin and lightweight laptops known as Ultrabooks. Future laptops with the Ultrabook brand and the upcoming Haswell processors will now need to sport a multi-point touchscreen, a longer battery life, and Intel WiDi (the wireless technology that sends video and images from computers and mobile devices to compatible displays, such as TVs with WiDi boxes). This, I think, is a smart move by Intel and will help make Ultrabooks the premium laptops they should be.
Haswell processors promise double the battery life of current Ivy Bridge chips, as well as better graphics and general performance. Haswell Ultrabooks should have no problem, then, meeting the 8-hour requirement (the current battery life specification for Ultrabooks is 7 hours).
Neither WiDi nor touchscreens are among the current Ultrabook specifications. With Windows 8's touch-friendly interface and a growing desire for many of us to wirelessly stream information across our many devices, these added requirements really make sense.
The only issue with may be with price, since a touchscreen usually adds to the cost of a laptop (about $100 tor $200 or so). Will manufacturers still be able to make Ultrabooks affordable? Many of the Windows 8 touchscreen laptops and tablet PCs are already over the $1,000 golden price point originally set as a target for laptop manufacturers. I'm afraid with this requirement Haswell Ultrabooks might be even more expensive.
More powerful, more connected, and with longer battery lives, though. Towards the end of this year after Intel releases Haswell, we should see even more interesting Ultrabooks. [via Digital Versus]