AMD and Intel have been locked in a CPU arms race for the better part of a decade, but at least for the short term, Intel has turned its focus towards competing with ARM. Consumers have been flocking en-mass to low power mobile devices, and Atom will be the company’s long term strategy to compete on the low end. 2013 will be the year of Clover Trail, however a leaked Intel roadmap is letting us know what we can look forward to in 2014.
It’s been a slow build over the last several years, but for the first time ever, NPD is reporting that tablet displays are shipping in greater quantities than those destined for notebooks. This doesn’t mean notebook computers are dead by any stretch of the imagination, but it does bring to light an interesting trend that is only likely to accelerate.
The CEA (Consumer Electronics Association), who organizes the world’s largest gadget-fest known as CES, has announced that over 20,000 products will be on display from over 3,000 exhibitors at this year’s trade show. The annual event will run from January 8th-11th 2013 in Las Vegas, and over 150,000 attendees are expected to pass through the massive Las Vegas Convention Center.
The tablet market is a pretty cut throat place to be these days. On the high end Apple simply dominates with the iPad, on the middle ground Google’s new Nexus line carefully appeals to those with a strong sense of price vs. performance, and Amazon fills out the low end. This isn’t to say Amazon’s tablet offerings aren’t well spec’d, but simply put, they aren’t worth the investment if you aren’t willing to commit to Amazon’s content ecosystem. Barnes & Noble has found itself awkwardly positioned against the competition these days, and are likely hoping a price cut on its older tablet lineup will help set them apart.
We all know the Apple iPad sits atop the 10-inch tablet market like an MMA fighter straddling the octagon fence after a first-round TKO. That fight is over, for now, but the battle for 7-inch supremacy is still going strong and our new favorite contender is the Google Nexus 7, made by Asus. Since we now have two favorite tablets, and room for only one in our man purse, we must settle this the old-fashioned way—with a tab blood-letting.
With just a few days left to go until the release of Windows 8 and the Microsoft-built Surface tablets, the Redmond-based company has donned its marketing hat. While the jury is still out on the amount Microsoft has earmarked for the Windows 8 marketing campaign, it is likely to be a large sum (some reports peg it at over $1 billion), especially considering how much Microsoft has riding on these two products. But wait, what exactly does Microsoft have “riding” on them?
Few would argue that Windows 8 is a radical departure from a software perspective, however this generation it won’t just be Microsoft looking to set new trends. Redmond’s hardware partners are gearing up fast for the October 26th release date, and Dell has started taking pre-orders for its new XPS 12 convertible Windows 8 tablet/Ultrabook.
Look out Intel, because Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) also intends to wrestle ARM in the mobile space. The Sunnyvale chip designer just unveiled a new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) designed for performance tablets and small form factor (SFF) PCs, the AMD Z-60. It's a low power chip that promises all-day battery life along with "stunning graphics" and support for the latest Windows 8 applications, AMD says.
Want to know why hardware and software makers are putting so much emphasis into the mobile market? It's because the mobile market is a ginormous freight train that keeps picking up passengers along the way. According to a recent survey by Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) and The Economist Group, 22 percent of all adults living in the U.S. own a tablet, 44 percent own a smartphone, and half of them own either one.
In what's being described as "just the beginning of Intel's effort in the tablet market," the world's largest chip maker unveiled its Atom Z2760 processor (codenamed Clover Trail) for Windows 8 tablets. According to Intel, the spunky Atom chip allows for the thinnest, lightest tablets built on the company's architecture -- as thin as 8.5 mm and 1.5 pounds -- and lends itself to long lasting battery life, enough to watch 10 hours of local HD video.