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back to article Intel to turn Ultrabooks, all-in-one desktops into giant tablets

Intel wants to turn laptops and even desktops into tablets in order to reverse the decline in the personal computer market. To that end, it unwrapped two form-factors it will be promoting to get tablet-hungry consumers back buying PCs. Well, if you can't beat 'em... Ultrabooks will remain Intel's "hero product", according to …

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Devil

Sheep, all I see is Sheep

It seems like the major tech companies, just like people, are becoming more sheeplike everyday, one of them spawns an idea and everyone else follows suit.

I loved the tech industry 20 years ago because the innovation was phenomenal. Today I feel as though innovation has died and all that remains is a little bit of fluff being blown about in the wind.

Or is it that shareholders greed has taken such a hold that the industry has been brought down to the level of a slaughterhouse, except here it is either kill or be killed.

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Hero Products?

A Hero's ransom more like. They're just too expensive.

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Silver badge

Re: Sheep, all I see is Sheep

To be fair, Intel is just trying to protect their quasi monopoly since they make money on most PCs sold but make nothing on tablets and smartphones which today all use ARM. They are hoping to snowjob consumers into think that a touchscreen laptop is the best of both worlds (it isn't, tablets are way more portable than laptops) I suspect the big PC vendors who aren't participating in the tablet market (Dell, HP, Lenovo) will be the ones really pushing these, while the PC vendors who participate in the tablet market (Samsung, Acer) will be more lukewarm to the idea.

Even if Intel was able to interest some tablet/smartphone vendors in using x86 it isn't really a win for them (they won't convert Apple who are control freaks and design their own ARM SoCs, nor Samsung who designs and needs to fill their fab capacity with their own ARM SoCs, but the rest are potential x86 converts) As the market moves to more smartphones/tablets and fewer PCs, Intel trades $100-$200 profit per chip for $10-$20 profit per chip, with a potential market that is far less than 10x larger.

Companies are only willing to hurt their own markets where they can make more money. Apple knew iPhone, if successful, would put a massive dent in the iPod market. But they make a lot more per iPhone sold than they made per iPod sold, so this was a good deal. If it was the other way around, they probably wouldn't have released iPhone until it looked like someone was about to dent the iPod market with a phone and accepted that reduced profit was better than no profit at all.

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Silver badge

Re: Sheep, all I see is Sheep

What innovation was there 20 years ago? 'You can have your PC in a tower or desktop unit, sir.' I think that for the first time in ages, PC makers are finally innovating. They have no choice.

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Re: Hero Products?

Replying to whichever post is top-most just so you can get more attention for your own, is not good behaviour.

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Happy

Re: Sheep, all I see is Sheep - AC101

Don't forget Mini-tower

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Touch on anything above 7 inch is pointless s41t

I can see the point on smartphones and small tablets where space is at a premium. Anything above that you might as well do things properly with a keyboard/mouse. to be fair to Intel, Ultrabooks are aimed at rich trendy idiots so the match is perfect.

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Bronze badge

Re: Touch on anything above 7 inch is pointless s41t

I don't know about 7". I'd say up to A4 is fine, but weight and bulk must be absolutely minimal.

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Go

Re: Touch on anything above 7 inch is pointless s41t

Forget that! I want a whole desk that is touch. Think star trek/minority report on steroids. So 2x 1mx50cm displays (one vertical and one horizontal) . Throw in a keyboard too (one which interacts with the display it is sitting on) and then use part of the display as a multitouch trackpad. That is what I want.

Ok the technology probably isn't quite there yet, but I certainly hope that is the way they are thinking and in 10 years I'll get one. What they are doing now is hopefully the first step in that direction. I can see there being lots of applications for a tabletop screen that lies flat on the coffee table in the living room, just don't put your coffee cups on it. Personally I find 7" and less pointless because they are too small to actually do much on them, even 10" is a bit small but is mostly manageable.

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Facepalm

Re: s41t

bowdlerization on the Reg? Grow some balls, man.

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Gold badge

Re: Touch on anything above 7 inch is pointless s41t

That's all very well, and lovely and futuristic. But a question that's never asked in Science Fiction is:

Where are you going to put your cup of tea?

If your whole desk is beautiful electronics, then when you inevitably spill some, it's going to be a sad bzzzert noise. Is that why aliens invariable have invented some kind of shields/forcefields? It's not to protect their ship from incoming missiles, it's to protect their delicate electronics from clumsy users...

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Silver badge

Re: Touch on anything above 7 inch is pointless s41t

"That's all very well, and lovely and futuristic. But a question that's never asked in Science Fiction is:

Where are you going to put your cup of tea?"

Or, for that matter, your feet when you want to just lean back, put your feet up, and drink that tea?

I wouldn't want to put mine on that sort of desk - with or without shoes. (Especially not without - by the time we have that sort of thing, the technology will have evolved other senses, such as smell. It'd kill my poor... what should we call it? Deskputer? Desputer?)

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Gold badge

Convertible Tablets

Spit! Yuck! Rubbish! Balderdash! And other such words...

Convertibles were the cheap option, when slates all cost well over £1,000, but you could pick up a convertible for closer to cheap laptop prices. I know, because I had one. More importantly, I had one, but no-one else did. I've seen a few slates in the real world, but the only person I've ever seen use a convertible, is the guy I sold mine to.

There's nothing wrong with them as laptops. And from having one, I'd say that touch on a laptop screen is worth almost nothing extra. I did use it, but very, very rarely. Although Windows 8 may change that, with those chunky Metro tiles. I doubt that personally, but anything is possible.

As tablets though, they're way too heavy. I find my iPad a bit on the porky side after a couple of hours of reading an ebook. And that doesn't have a huge keyboard attached. I didn't read ebooks on my old Tablet PC, otherwise my arms would probably have fallen off by now.

On the other hand, detachables are great. If you can successfully resolve (or fudge well enough) the required design compromises, then you've got the best of both worlds.

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Interesting

I thouht most of this was pointless "solution searching for a problem" stuff but I do REALLY like the idea of your wireless keyboard and mouse charging themselves wirelessly from your AIO PC overnight. It doesn't happen very often (maybe every six months or so) but you can guarantee that when the batteries DO run out on your mouse and keyboard it will be at the least convenient time imaginable and, despite having had dozens of batteries lying around for months, you'll be damned if you can find any when you really need it.

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WTF?

Ultrabooks failed for a reason

There's a reason Macbook Air's have been eating Ultrabook's lunch. They have acceptable screen resolution, CPU, and (with the latest refresh) up to 8GB memory.

However, the battery isn't swappable, the SSD not replaceable, and there's no Kensington lock slot (so you have to take it with you to the bathroom if you're in a coffee shop).

If Intel et al could come up with something less cynical, I would jump ship.

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