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Top processor maker predicts $599 multi-touch ultrabooks, 13 hour battery life

For those unhappy with Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) touch-driven operating system turn with Windows 8, it's about to get worse.  Intel Corp. (INTC) announced at its Monday afternoon press conference at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada that all next generation Core i-Series "Ultrabook" machines will be required to have touch.

In other words, for OEMs less than enthusiastic about touch displays for laptops, you will be forced to either begrudgingly add touch or may be bumped down the supply ladder when it comes to Intel's latest and greatest upcoming Ultrabook-aimed chip -- the new 22 nm architecture Haswell (a "tock" release).

Thus Intel appears to be following an approach similar to Microsoft's with Windows 8 -- shoving innovation down the throat of the market.

Both device designers and customers will now be forced to deal with this force-feeding -- whether or not they feel ready for it.  Ultimately that may be a wise decision for both companies; Microsoft otherwise would risk being overrun by master marketers and innovators like Google Inc. (GOOG) and Apple, Inc. (AAPL), while Intel would risk losing more ground to ARM Holdings Plc. (LON:ARM)

For OEMs who play nice, there will be rewards.

Intel showed off a 13-inch reference design that delivered 13 hour battery life, when in laptop mode (10 hours when in tablet mode, detachable via a one-touch latching mechanism). Intel is claiming that the battery bump from Ivy Bridge to Haswell is the "largest generation on generation battery life increase in the history of Intel."

The processor maker believes that by the holidays $599 USD or below touch laptops will be available to consumers, with the latest Intel Core processors.






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