Why? Intel has some pretty stringent specifications for thickness, weight, performance and battery life for anything given the Ultrabook label (which Intel had trademarked). Hitting those specs while at the same time trying to bring down the cost of the systems is the entire crux of the issue.
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According to IHS analyst Craig Stice, as OEMs find that they can't hit all of Intel's specs while also bringing down the price, they are choosing to reclassify some systems as ultrathins. The concept of the systems is the same—thin form factor, light, fast and efficient.
Despite cutting his forecast for Ultrabook sales for this year and next year, Stice believes Ultrabook shipments will grow nicely over the next few years, increasing from about 10 million this year to more than 95 million in 2016. But Stice acknowledges that the entire Ultrabook label might fall by the wayside if OEMs decide that the only way to get these ultra-thin, ultra-light systems down to price points that consumers find palatable is to come up short of the Ultrabook specifications.
"In the near term, there is the Ultrabook push because that's the buzz word," Stice said. "But at some point, does the Ultrabook name fade away?"
Dell Inc.'s XPS 14 Ultrabook.
In fact, Stice said his latest forecast predicts this trend to some degree. He projects that growth in Ultrabook shipments will level off at about 95 million units, partly because of an expected rise in shipments of systems classified as ultrathins. At a certain point, you have to assume that even if this concept catches on as Intel hopes it will, consumers will be less concerned about whether the thin, light-weight notebook they want to buy is considered an Ultrabook or something else.
But such a development would not be a loss for Intel. On the contrary, even if the company's Ultrabook push results in the rise of something else called an ultrathin, it's still a win for Intel.
I've heard of experiments that have been carried out where people use a touch screen for half a day and then a keyboard/mouse for the other half of the day and asked which they prefer. The majority apparently stated they would rather have a touch screen. I'm with most of you that I don't see me getting much done on a touch screen, but we can't let the power users' notion of what's good and what's not get in the way of apparently what consumers want if we wish to sell them products.
Until recently, I was of the opinion that a touch screen on any kind of a real PC was a stupid idea. But that was before I'd gotten used to using a touch screen smart phone. Actually, at that point, I still thought it was stupid.
But not long ago, I was really tired from travel and tradeshow and without thinking, found myself trying to use my laptop screen as a touch screen. What I am still skeptical of is the complete replacement of the mouse. A touch screen is an easy interface for some applications, but not for a lot of others.
When typing, for example, it's pretty inefficient to move from keyboard to screen. The mouse is in the same area as the keyboard and thus not so disruptive.
Intel cannot afford to implement commercially beyond 20nm.
U.S. Government & Intel are concealing Corp. is looted & Bankrupt in future terms.
Sources are 5; 1) infiltration by cartel organized network crime; 2) banked cost constructing surplus barrier limiting competitors beyond 32 nm; 3rd, theft from stockholder’s to administer cost of channel price fix tie; 4th, theft from end customers charged price fix in invoice plus monopoly overcharges. Likely PC end buyers will see some recovery. 5th industrial theft from processors dumped at price less than cost. 5 categories record $180,858,122,551 misrepresented and unreported cost burden on Intel.
Where are present cost burdens? 1st, inventories of Xeon Gainstown EP and Westmere EX, Aarondale, Sandy Bridge Desktop and Mobile. Issues are 3; first, surplus processors banked in channels on deferred revenue recognition; 2nd, completed systems stalled in channels showing now what is occurring inside Intel; 3rd, surplus banked goods; processors & mpu in systems reclaimed and purposed for apps that will compete against Intel future product while placing burden on industry in total.
Finally, one must ask why Intel is sustaining price on prior runs instead of flushing at cost to recover investment burden?
For Intel to dump inventories means twin tower effect on supply chain. As processor margins eliminated AMD becomes system house to capture remaining downstream producer values. Same for other processor design producers impacted by surplus raining down.
Collapse flattens Intel’s long time channel & contract manufacturers finally take over for certain.
Final question was price hold a hidden condition in Docket 9341 consent agreement? It’s time for regulatory mechanisms in this country that are supposed to police monopolization, cartel and investment fraud, including at Intel, to do that job of be replaced with administrations that will do that job.
Actually the netbook format had a lot going for it. The idea of bringing PC's down in price and increasing portability, at the expense of unnecessary features, is a good one. I don't see ultrabooks going that route, though. Tablets are NOT a slimmed down PC, though.
I often wish that my notebook had a touch screen. I am so used to using touch/swipe when reading documents or apps like flipboard on my iPad that I find myself trying to do the same reading a website or doc on my notebook. I have my hands on either side of the screen, and use my thumbs to scroll up or down. I really look forward to trying this on a new Win 8 hybrid!
I agree with Doug about touchscreens on laptops or desktops. In fact, I hate when anyone uses their fat greasy fingers to point at stuff on my screens.
However, if some smart company finally does market a hybrid notebook/tablet device, like the Surface perhaps, then it would make sense to allow use of touchscreen or mouse and keyboard, depending how the toy is being used at the time.
I think some people would disagree. It certainly seems unnecessary now, but I know Microsoft believes that in a few years we will be so hooked on touchscreens that any screen that isn't a touchscreen will seem useless. My kids' first instinct is to touch the screen to affect the device, no matter what device.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.