Laptop-Tablet Convertibles From Intel Driving The Market

Intel Corp. along with its device-making clients has been endeavoring for a long time to enhance interest in hardware that blends the features of tablets and laptops, but with very little success. However, currently, they may be newer reasons for showing optimism.

This week, key technology vendors are coming up with plans for another range of convertible machines, which are also known as 2-in-1s. These are lighter and thinner as compared to their predecessors. Like tablets, throughout the day battery life is being provided by the devices, which also deliver increased computing performance.

A major role is being played by Intel along with Core M, a new chip, which is its initial microprocessor for exploiting a new manufacturing procedure that took more time than expected to reach perfection. The new chip consumes only 4.5 watts of power, which is less than 50% of what was consumed by previous chips belonging to the same class.

Moor Insights and Strategy’s market analyst Patrick Moorhead said that these light and thin devices are a lot talked about by the industry, and Core M truly delivers these things.

On Thursday, certain personal computer vendors expressed their plans with respect to the 2-in-1 computers utilizing Core M. These include Dell, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard. On Friday, as new technical details were divulged by Intel regarding the technology at Berlin’s IFA trade show, more examples emerged.

For a long time, Intel has been supplying PCs with calculating engines. It has been grappling since the year 2010 as consumer dollars shifted away from portable computers towards tablets. Most of the tablets now make use of chips designed by ARM Holdings.

With the surge in tablet sales, prediction was made by Intel executives that the different product class would ultimately die away with an increasing number of hardware companies offering devices with displays that turn round from clamshell to tablet form or get detached totally to work as free-standing tablets.

However clients balked, owing to a number of reasons. First of all, 2-in-1 devices, compared to tablets, have been significantly heavier and larger, as explained by NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker. Moreover, they are more costly. In US retail stores, the standard selling price of a regular notebook is presently around $380. Again the average price of convertibles is $580.

One of the VPs of PC client group of Intel, Navin Shenoy, explained that another hindrance was posed by the mainstream chips of the company which consumed great quantity of power and hence cooling fans had to be used. This is a noisy feature, which was absent from most of the tablets.

As noted by Mr. Shenoy, Core M based system do not need fans. Moreover, they fit within 50% of the space occupied by previous chips and their operation time with a battery charge is around 1.7 hours longer.

Among vendors targeting business users for the early Core M based 2-in-1 devices is Dell, which exhibited a portable on Thursday starting at $1,199. The unit comes with a detachable screen that can be used as a tablet.