Day 1 of the Consumer Electronics Show is drawing to a close, and a keynote featuring Intel is the perfect way to end the day. Intel is the driving force behind a seemingly endless line of devices that have helped shape the industry as we know it today, and this evening we should get a look at how Intel intends to continue driving innovation moving forward. Smartphones and tablets powered by the company’s next-generation Medfield processors will definitely be on display, and the company invested $300 million in ultrabooks so we’ll undoubtedly see a parade of slim new laptops on stage during the event as well. Will Intel have a few surprises up its sleeve? The keynote is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific, so hit the jump and tune in for our live coverage. More →
The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published three Thunderbolt related patents that suggest Apple may have plans to build Intel’s Thunderbolt connections into its iOS devices. As Patently Apple points out, Apple may build its own cabling technology that gives it exclusive rights to how Thunderbolt technology might be built into portable devices. Thunderbolt ports would allow for faster data transfers on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, as well as shorter charging times. One of Apple’s more revealing patents describes stronger Thunderbolt cables that could handle greater amounts of data more efficiently and without overheating. Apple says in its patent that the Thunderbolt connections “may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices.” Apple currently has a number of devices, including displays and computers, with Thunderbolt ports. The company does not yet offer a portable device with the I/O option, however. More →
Top personal computer vendors Acer and Lenovo are each preparing to launch Windows 8 tablets in the third quarter, a new report claims. Citing anonymous sources from within Asia-based component suppliers, DigiTimes on Monday reports that the PC makers are working on new tablets powered by Windows 8 and Intel’s upcoming “Clover Trail” chipsets. Intel is set to show off a variety of Medfield-powered smartphones and slates as the Consumer Electronics Show next week, but its Clover Trail chips are reportedly being eyed by PC vendors as a more powerful option offering better performance and more efficient power consumption. DigiTimes reported last week that devices utilizing Intel’s Clover Trail chips would not launch until the fourth quarter this year, but the site now points to a new timeline for Intel’s new platform. More →
LG and Intel are at it again, showing off another mobile device at the Consumer Electronics Show. The two companies teamed up for CES last year and showed off an Android smartphone running on Intel’s Moorestown chipset, which was ultimately scrapped. LG and Intel will be showing off a second Intel-powered smartphone during this year’s CES, according to the Korea Times. The mystery device will be running Google’s Android operating system and powered by Intel’s new Medfield chipset. However, not everyone is optimistic about LG’s future with Android. “Personally, I doubt that LG Electronics will release phones running on Android software based on any Intel platform,” an LG executive who asked not to be identified told Korea Times. “It’s quite possible for LG to push Intel’s reference mobiles but with huge subsidies from Intel for promotion.” The device is rumored to hit store shelves as early as March however, and with CES just around the corner, we won’t have to wait long for more information.
Intel’s upcoming Medfield mobile processor will most likely be the focus of the company’s Consumer Electronics Show keynote next month. The Medfield has been reported to outdo NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 and even Qualcomm’s S3 dual-core processor. An Android Community tipster recently got his hands on a Medfield developer tablet, the site reports, and he raved about the quality of the device. According to the tipster, the 10.1-inch tablet is thin and the weight feels good without giving the device a cheap feel. The device runs Android 3.x Honeycomb and is powered by Intel’s 1.6GHz dual-core Medfield Atom processor. It also sports an array of useful ports, including micro-USB, mini-HDMI and microSD slots. Medfield-powered devices are set to be released in the first half of 2012. More →
Intel could be preparing to unveil most of its next-generation 22nm Ivy Bridge processors ”on or around” April 8th according to a recent rumor. The company is set to introduce 25 different models in total, DigiTimes reported, including 17 chips designed for use in desktop PCs and eight for notebooks and ultrabooks. Intel will announce the following desktop processors in April according to the report: the Core i7-3770K, 3770, 3770S, 3770T as well as the Core i5-3570, 3550 and 3450. The desktop processors will reportedly range in price from $184 to $332. The following notebook CPUs will also be announced: Core i7-3920Qm ($1,096), 3820QM ($568) and the 3720QM ($378). Intel is allegedly working on the Core i5-3520M, 3360M, 3320M for notebooks and the Core i7-3667U and Core i5-3427U for ultrabooks, but those processors may not be announced at the same time; the company is expected to unveil several other models for both notebooks and desktops in May. Intel has said its Ivy Bridge chips will offer a 37% performance increase over its 32nm chips.
Intel’s intention to enter the smartphone and tablet space with a bang has been widely reported, but the company recently showed off the first smartphones and tablets to utilize the its Medfield mobile processor and the results were said to be impressive. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review blog reports that it was able to test a number of reference devices Intel created to show off the capabilities of its upcoming chipsets. According to the site, one such device was a smartphone similar in size to the iPhone 4 but lighter. The phone ran Android Gingerbread and was capable of playing back Blu-ray quality video or streaming it to a television in full HD. Technology Review also says it tested a tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich that was more impressive than any Android tablet currently on the market. Intel is expected to have the reference devices on display at the Consumer Electronics Show next month and Medfield-powered devices will launch in the first half of 2012. More →
Following the early successes of its of 11-inch and 13-inch ultrabooks, Acer has reportedly decided to build a brand new 15-inch ultrabook that may dramatically undercut the price of Apple’s rumored 15-inch MacBook Air. DigiTimes said Wednesday that Acer has already contracted Pegratron to build the new computer, and that the device could be priced as low as $699 — $300 cheaper than the entry-level 11-inch MacBook Air. The latest rumors suggest that Apple could be prepared to deliver its 15-inch MacBook Air to the market as soon as the first quarter next year and that the device is already in the early stages of production. It is unclear when Acer’s new ultrabook will launch. More →
Acer will cut its product line by 66% in 2012 and focus on simplifying its portfolio, company chairman JT Wang recently said according to reports. Wang expects the narrowed focus to be fine-tuned over the next two to three years, DigiTimes reports, but the sharper vision will have an immediate impact on sales — Acer thinks revenue will climb 10% in 2012 as Acer attacks the ultrabook market while shifting away from low-margin netbooks. The Acer boss also sees another upside to the advent of ultrabooks: the rise of slim Windows and Intel-powered notebook computers will weaken Apple’s growth over the next two years. As ultrabook prices begin to fall to the $699-range in 2012, their rapid adoption will slow sales of more expensive Mac laptops. Wang did note that fourth-quarter shipments were hurt by hard drive shortages due to the flooding in Thailand, but he says recovery was quicker than expected and business will rebound in the first quarter. More →
Intel doesn’t have much of a presence in the mobile phone market right now, but that could change soon. The Santa Clara-based company announced recently that it has reached a deal with Inside Secure in which the French chip maker will supply Intel with NFC chips for upcoming products. “We are highly interested in NFC but we are not announcing any product plans at this time,” an Intel spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal, noting that Intel might include Inside Secure’s technology in future reference designs. Google Wallet emerged as one of the first NFC-based mobile payment systems to launch in the United States, but it’s only available on one handset, the Nexus S, and is only currently supported by Sprint. Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T have invested in a joint initiative called ISIS that is only in the testing phase right now, although Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said ISIS will begin a “significant rollout” in the coming year. More →
Are PC makers starting to give up on tablets? Manufacturers Asus and Acer are shifting focus to Intel-powered ultrabooks instead of tablets to improve gross margins, DigiTimes said on Tuesday. The site’s report suggests that the notebook market may soon begin to rebound after declining in 2011. Both firms are seemingly drawn to the wider margins achieved on sales of notebook computers, and are also gravitating away from developing low-cost netbooks. Asus and Acer aren’t alone; other reports have suggested that Dell and HP may also abandon the tablet market next year despite rumors both would launch Windows 8 tablets during the third quarter. In addition, Asus and Acer are eyeing opportunities in emerging markets such as China, Indonesia and India as opposed to the United States and Europe, where the firms typically spend the most effort trying to sell devices. Asus has previously denied reports that it might abandon Android tablets. More →
LG on Monday unveiled a familiar looking laptop that falls into Intel’s much-touted new ultrabook category, the Xnote Z330. With the shape of a MacBook Air and the color scheme of a MacBook Pro, the LG Xnote Z330 is a 13.3-inch notebook that boots Windows 7 in less than 10 seconds thanks to “Rapid Start Technology.” The Z330 is even thinner that Apple’s MacBook Air at its thinnest point, and it weighs in at just 2.7 pounds. Spec highlights include a 1.6GHz Core i5 or a 1.7GHz Core i7 processor, a 120GB or 256GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, HD graphics, WiDi wireless display technology and an HDMI-out port. Battery life is rated at more than six hours, and the base model starts at just over $1,500 while the fully loaded model costs more than $2,300. Additional images and specs follow below. More →
Last year more than 100 tablets were unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show and this year it appears the focus could shift to Intel-powered ultrabooks. Demand for ultrabooks — devices defined as powerful thin and light notebooks with long-lasting battery life — is expected to begin to heat up following the holidays and January’s Consumer Electronics Show. More than 50 new ultrabook models will be displayed during CES and the category is expected to be one of the hottest consumer electronic segments on the show floor, Taiwan Economic News said Tuesday, citing insights from a show organizer. Intel, which invested $300 million in the utltrabook platform, also said that there will be more than 60 different ultrabook models available during 2012, and the chip maker’s upcoming Ivy Bridge processors will power many of them. Initial reports suggested that ultrabooks are off to a slow start, with just 50,000 units shipped so far from Acer, ASUS, Lenovo and Toshiba combined. Additionally, weak sales of the first models from Asus and Acer forced both firms to scale back production by as much as 40%, another report suggested. More →