Intel shows roadmap for 4th generation ultrabooks, makes touch mandatory

Taking full advantage of the fanfare surrounding CES, Intel has revealed its plan for the next generation of ultrabooks. The announcement includes two new requirements that will force hardware manufacturers to once again raise the bar on their designs.

The most important announcement is mandatory touch. Laptops with 4th-gen Core processors that lack touch will be ineligible for the ultrabook title. Intel’s decision will likely increase the availability of touchscreens and drive down prices, as more and more manufacturers begin producing touchscreen technology.

Another, less significant must-have, is the inclusion of Intel Wireless Display. This makes it possible to stream a Windows desktop to a high-definition television – no HDMI needed. Some laptops have already shipped with this feature, but it will now be required of all ultrabooks.

All of the previous extras of course, including a solid state drive and a built-in security chip, will still be mandatory.

Intel also boasted that 4th-generation ultrabooks will offer significantly improved battery life. This was displayed with a reference design that included a battery in the lower chassis and the display. It can last as long as 13 hours with both components attached, or 10 hours as a tablet. Today’s ultrabooks often struggle to provide more than seven hours away from a socket, and that is being generous.

These changes go into effect alongside the company’s release of its 4th-generation Core parts, which are currently rumored to ship in May of this year.

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