Intel takes on Apple with chipset for thin netbooks and tablets

Intel is to take on Apple with a slim laptop design, which will enable tablet and laptop manufactures to build thinner devices.

Intel is to take on Apple with a slim laptop design, which will enable tablet and laptop manufactures to build thinner devices.

The company's latest Intel Core processors will enable thin and light designs less than 20mm (0.8 inch) thick for prices of under $1,000, said the chip maker.

Sean Maloney, chairman of Intel China, is unveiling the company's plans at Computex trade show in Taiwan today. "Technology innovation is a catalyst. Together with strong industry collaboration, we will bring about an exciting change in personal computing over the next few years."

Taiwanese computer maker Asus has teamed up with Intel, to demonstrate its first "Ultrabook", the Asus UX21.

The aluminium laptop weighs 1.1kg (2.4lb). It uses a high-resolution 11.6 inch screen and a solid-state drive to enable long battery life and an almost instant-on capability, reports The Financial Times.

Dale Vile, analyst at Freeform Dynamics, says Intel's ability to trade off high-power with long battery life should enable it to make headway in the netbook and tablet market.

"I don't see the whole world switching to small and light. Our research among business people suggests this is an optional form factor, rather than a main one," said Dale Vile.

Vile adds that the two core markets are full-specification laptops and smartphones, with many devices between seen as secondary purchases. "In the business market slates tend to be seen as companion devices to laptops for sales guys; while small lightweight [netbooks] are used by non road warrior executives," he said.

The announcement follows Intel's recent play for the tablet market with the launch of its Atom-based Oak Trail processor chipset for tablet devices.



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