At the Intel Solution Summit (ISS) which took place last week Intel told the world that we should expect to see Ultrabooks based on their fourth generation of core processors soon. The fourth generation of core processors are the Haswell micro-architecture. However, we already knew that because the release of Haswell is expected to be around June so that means Haswell releases are around 2 months away. The really juicy information from Intel was that these Haswell based Ultrabooks will start from just $599, a price significantly lower than we are used to seeing from the Ultrabook market segment of products.
Intel’s Kirk Skaugen, Senior Vice President and GM of Intel’s PC Client Group, told the audience at ISS that we will see new parts arriving at cheaper price points and with more compelling features. While this kind of rhetoric isn’t anything out of the ordinary what we are hoping it will mean is that Haswell parts will be more affordable at every performance range and “extra features” will be included with more models than previously done. Touch screen support, faster SSDs, higher resolution displays, voice recognition and facial recognition are all expected to be common-place features from the new range of Ultrabooks.
Skaugen went as far as to say that early Ultrabook designs were “just a retrofit of what was already on the market”. The key point in Skaugen’s talk was that Haswell will bring extended battery life and you will be able to leave your battery pack at home. Such a bold statement would suggest we can expect to see 10+ hours of battery life on most Ultrabook models if Intel’s partners do as they are expected to.
Would you buy a Ultrabook at $599? Are all these new features good inclusions? Or are Intel just playing catch-up? Will $599 Ultrabooks be able to sway consumers away from similarly priced tablets? Let us know what you think.