Intel produced the latest “tick” (or die shrink) on our “tick-tock” release schedule with the Intel® 3rd Generation Core Processors. Code named “Ivy Bridge,” this next generation brought us to a 22nm manufacturing process. Newer processors perform as well or better than previous models, with lower power requirements and better cooling. In addition to the thermal and performance improvements, our Intel 3rd Generation Core Processors brings an updated version of integrated Intel HD Graphics that is compatible with DirectX 11, improving intensive 3D experience and allowing the user to view 1080p HD video smoothly.
As for Ultrabooks, there are actually more than 110 Ultrabooks based on dual-core version of 3rd Intel Core Generation processor. Most of these designs are intended for the more traditional laptop form-factor; however with Windows 8 expected to launch this year, we should see more innovative designs as well. There will be more than 30 models with touchscreen functionalities, including 10 convertible designs that can be used as laptop or tablet.
To be classified as an Ultrabook (which is an Intel trademark), there are some requirements which can only be achieved through capable operating system integrations, such as Windows 8:
- Thin Design: must be 18mm or less in thickness for systems with display less than 14inches and 21mm for larger screen
- Responsive: A interesting capability that comes with this generation is device wake in flash – going from sleep state to full use in less than 7 seconds
- Battery Life: The Ultrabook must offer at least 5hs of battery life with 8hs as recommended
- Security Enabled: Anti-theft technology (i.e. AT) and Identity Protection Technology (i.e. IPT) are those security features embedded into Ultrabook platform
- Faster I/O: must have USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt technology
- Processor: Powered by 3rd Intel Core Generation processor
To complement these technical specifications, Microsoft has redesigned the user interface in Windows 8. Known as Metro, this interface is specifically designed to bring an excellent experience for touchscreen devices, with beautiful tiles and a motion engine.
Tablets and smartphones are also utilized in the workplace and as personal devices. For knowledge workers, tablets are an excellent device to consume information with their sleek displays and user-friendly motion engine. On the other hand, Ultrabooks have a convertible design and a mature operating system such as Microsoft Windows. They allow the possibility of having a single device that provides an ergonomic solution, supports easy attachment to use multiple/bigger displays, and remains a thin, light and tablet-like form factor. Ultrabooks provide the most flexibility in the user’s life and are, in my opinion, the best solution – removing concerns with data synchronization, application compatibility and other issues that come with managing a second device.
A convertible Windows 8 PC with a 3rd Generation Core processor (such as Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga presented at CES 2012) provides an experience that you cannot get with Windows 7 alone, and will be the best solution for my work environment.