At IDF this week, Intel showed off a demo of Nuance’s Dragon Assist software running on an Ultrabook. Dragon Assist, currently in beta, is a Siri-like approach to PC voice control. Using natural words and phrases you can ask the computer to do a number of tasks. The demo that Intel showed on stage was quite impressive — it was fast, accurate, and potentially quite useful. But would you use it?
Chippy is checking out Ultrabooks at IDF this week and he had a chance to get his hands on the NEC Lavie Z Ultrabook. What makes this unit stand out is its incredible weight. This is a 13.3″ screen; at just 876 grams, the Lavie Z is the world’s lightest Ultrabook in it’s class, even lighter than many of the Ultrabooks in the size class below it. For example. the Asus UX21A with an 11.6″ screen is about 1100 grams.
HD 3000 in Intel’s second generation Core ‘Sandy Bridge’ processor was a pretty big step forward for integrated graphics — it adds significant gaming capabilities to thin, light, and efficient Ultrabooks, without the need for discrete graphics. HD 4000, introduced with the third and current-gen Core ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor took things one step further by doubling the performance over Sandy Bridge. With the fourth and next-gen Core ‘Haswell’ processor, slated to launch in Ultrabooks and other systems in 2013, Intel is once again doubling performance over the previous generation.
In just a few hours the press will be gathering in San Francisco for the warm-up to IDF 2012. The Intel Developer Forum is the most important of the years IDF events as it represents the start of a new wave of marketing for Intel and allows analysts to piece together a picture of what Intel will get up to in 2013. In terms of Ultrabooks we already know that we’ve got Windows 8, touch and Haswell coming but there’s more to it than that. Here’s what you can expect from us over the next week as we attend 4 days of Intel events.
IFA, the big and important consumer electronics trade show in Germany is only weeks away and Intel’s Developer Forum follows up just days later. Back-to-school marketing, Christmas model launches, the next Generation of Ultrabooks with Windows 8 and Touch and even some information about 2013 Ultrabooks can be expected. Sales numbers will rise and Ultrabooks will face their first big test against consumer laptops. The big question is, will prices drop enough for consumers to get interested in this very difficult economic climate?
Our timeline predictions up until now have been reliable. We’ve reviewed that timeline to Dec 2012 and see no reason for changes. Details are below including an update on new Ultrabook models available.
We’re thrilled to have been invited and sponsored by Intel to attend IDF 2012 this year. Intel Developers Forum is the place to get a feel for what’s going to happen in the next 12-18 months and to get all the questions answered by the experts responsible. Naturally we’ve been looking through the agenda. There are 17 technical sessions directly related to Ultrabooks and an additional 5 that will reveal information about Haswell, the next generation platform that you can expect to see in Ultrabooks in 2013.
One presentation jumped out at us though. Ultrabook™ Innovations – Intel Wireless Charging and Smart Watch Digital Companion.
You’ll see the Hybrid Ultrabook ‘Letexo’ , graphics, media and touch demonstrations, Windows 8, security, VPro and more.
Intel have just presented details of a Wireless Charging solution for Ultrabooks at IDF Beijing. They see a big potential market and look to have made good progress on a hard/soft solution that takes into account power considerations and regulatory requirements. Patents have been applied for!
Update: This is an Intel concept design called Letexo.
As I filter through some of the information coming out of IDF in Beijing, this image strikes me as being significant. It’s a slider tablet design with a Windows 8 button. The design smacks of Dell but the logo on the images [Lxo, Lyo or Lko perhaps?] tells us that this is probably just a CAD concept. However, it looks fantastic and is something that could hit the Ultrabook sector soon.