Are you ready for the future of computer processing and superior visual graphics? Intel is releasing an exciting new line of 4th-generation processors (codename “Haswell”) that will deliver a significant increase in battery life, with improved peak performance and incredible integrated graphics for Windows PCs and tablets. These chips for the i3, i5 and i7 Cores were designed with mobility front-and-center. Intel is working with OEM’s like Microsoft, on new products which include touch Ultrabooks, tablets, and 2-in-1 convertible devices that give you a laptop that can easily be converted into a tablet when you need that extra flexibility. Microsoft is also looking to “Chip in”, launching a new program offering students a cool way to crowdfund PCs and other hardware for school.
Intel’s next-generation 22nm Intel Atom chip will be heading to the open market later this year. These new chips will offer up to 3 times the peak performance (same power) or 5 times the power efficiency (same performance) over the existing 32nm Atom chips out today. The processors will also effortlessly allow you to move between different applications with an intelligent 8-way multitasking where each processor core handles two tasks simultaneously!
Now that we’ve covered the official release notes and boilerplate material, what are the experts really saying about the “Haswell” chip? Well, few dispute that Intel’s latest PC processors are the most powerful and power efficient chips ever created for this level of consumer devices, however, did you catch the price? The bulk prices for these processors cost about $100 more than last year’s flagship i5 and i7 versions. While some hardcore users will be enticed by the extra battery life potentially lasting 50% longer per charge, will mainstream users actually pay the premium prices Intel is asking? And is there a market to really support it anymore?
Analysts at IDC have reported a 13 percent decline in PC sales last quarter, and with Gartner conversely predicting a boom in sub-$350 smartphones and tablets by 2015 (reaching over half a billion unit shipments annually), it’s impossible to guarantee the size of the premium PC market.
The whispers about the impending doom of PCs have grown louder, with Intel now only adding fuel to the fire. PC enthusiasts were irked by Intel’s latest announcement pointing out that most of the changes don’t benefit desktop PCs, but rather mobile laptops, all-in-ones and any other small-computing device that really needs added control over power and voltage to maintain its thin package.
This may be a sad day for extreme desktop users like myself who crave for every extra ounce of horse power we can get, but can you blame Intel for its latest shift towards mobile computing given the bleak outlook of the PC market?