After announcing new 5th-generation “Broadwell” Core chips for desktop and mobile, Intel followed by immediately confirming the 6th-generation “Skylake” processors are still on track for release later this year.
The company still hasn’t provided firm details about model numbers, clock speeds, or what types of chips will launch first. However, the company did use its keynote at Computex to show off two reference designs built around Skylake processors.
First up was “Panther Mountain,” a reference 2-in-1 with a dockable keyboard. The device is only 7.8 millimeters thick, has a RealSense 3D camera, and uses USB Type-C for connectivity. Intel didn’t go into details, but it appeared to be a 13-inch system not unlike current dockables — though even thinner. It also appeared to be passively cooled.
That was followed by “Star Brook,” a reference all-in-one. It boasts a chassis only 10 millimeters thick, which is even more impressive than the laptop given the size of currently available AIO systems. Despite its slim profile, the system still has a 4K display. It also offers a folding stand that makes it easy to lay the device flat for touchscreen use. It also appeared to lack a fan.
It’s important to note these are reference designs, which means they are not consumer products. Intel is not getting into the laptop or all-in-one market. Instead, these systems are meant to showcase the capabilities of upcoming hardware and given an idea of what real devices based on Skylake processors will be like.
Neither design offers any surprise. They’re thin, particularly the all-in-one, but new systems are almost always thinner and lighter than their predecessors. Intel RealSense is also old news at this point. This is not to say Skylake won’t be impressive — it probably will be. But its most interesting trait will be its power consumption, or lack thereof, and Intel revealed nothing new on that front during its Computex keynote.
While the release date for Skylake is still vague, it probably won’t arrive until very late in the year. We expect to hear more about it at Intel’s Developer Forum in August.
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