Photo: Kevin Smith/Business Insider
Your Windows PC is going to look radically different starting today. We’re not just talking about the radical new interface. The change applies to the slew of wonky new hardware that will launch along with Windows 8 and throughout the coming months.
Intel, a company at the forefront of Windows 8 hardware creation and design, is positioned well among the upcoming flurry of tablets, convertibles, Ultrabooks, and other types of Windows 8 PCs. Intel’s chips power a majority of these devices and it works with manufacturers to ensure that users have the best experience possible.
Something that consumers often fail to realise when looking at Windows 8 devices is that they are powerful. Much more powerful than the iPads and Android tablets of the world. Basically, the Windows 8 devices Intel and its partners are introducing into the market are full-powered PCs crammed into a tablet form factor.
When you think about that, the possibilities are endless.
There are convertibles powered by Intel like Dell’s XPS, a hybrid Ultrabook, which combines touch and a physical keyboard. There are also devices like Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga, a funky tablet hybrid that can twist and turn into different positions.
Intel is under the hood of all these machines.
“Intel is excited about this idea of converging a tablet and a notebook together. The bar is high. It has to be done right,” Navin Shenoy, Intel’s vice president and general manager, for mobile client platforms told Business Insider.
Intel works very closely with PC makers to ensure that the PCs embrace both a touch aspect and a traditional keyboard with mouse experience. This means that consumers can expect to see a lot of different devices.
“I think there will be a narrowing of field, as people vote with their wallets,” Shenoy said.
Intel and its partners are testing out a bunch of Ultrabooks, tablets, and hybrids, hoping something sticks with consumers.
“We’ve built lots of mockups of these devices and tested them up the wazoo. A couple of things have come away from this. Consumers are 50-50 between detachables and the switchable platform, where you have a permanently attached keyboard but a moveable screen. It’s really all over the map. Some people like the slider, the yoga, the traditional swivel, the dual screen,” Shenoy said.
In August 2011, Intel invested $300 million into a fund, which studied its computer ecosystem to figure out what kind of form factors people want. “The way we’re directing that money is in things like touch. Touch existed for small devices but it did not exist at all for 13-inch, 14-inch, or 15-inch notebooks,” Shenoy said.
The next year or two will be crucial for PCs as the consumers vote with their wallet on which new form factor is the best.
Above all, “Intel is confident that the best Windows 8 experience will be by way of our chips,” Shenoy said. “Bar none. Because we are going to have amazing performance, amazing power, amazing innovation and we’re going to have the benefit of running the compatibility of the 3 million apps that have already been written, the apps that people are using today.”