While it may look like a tablet, this is in fact the first of a new series of prototype devices from Intel — hardware that it believes is the future of its self-styled ultrabook initiative.
Demoed in Beijing last week, this is Intel's Cove Point. It's reminiscent of two-in-one tablets like the Asus Transformer — with its hinged, folding design that switches from tablet to ultrabook-style laptop — but this thing is actually far, far beefier.
Beneath its surface, it's a fully-fledged PC. The device demoed in Bejing featured an early sample of Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge CPU, a 12.5-inch screen, two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port. It was also running a consumer preview version of Windows 8.
Speaking about the new design, Gary Richman, Director of Marketing for Intel's PC Client Solutions Division, told Wired:
"When we started talking about ultrabooks last year, we talked about different form factors, and touch and convertibles. This has been an evolution over time. Ultrabooks were never meant to be just clamshell designs... Where we see the future of computing going, with tablets and Windows 8, is the importance of the touch experience. [With Cove Point] we were looking to define the compelling form factors, usages and benefits of having a notebook design, while taking advantage of the touch experience in Windows 8."
There are currently no details as to whether any OEMs are planning to make an announcement about a device similar to Cove Point. When pressed, however, Richman did explain that he'd expect a similar device to retail for around $US1000. One thing's for certain: it's a hell of a lot more likely to come to market than some of the Intel concepts we've seen. [Wired and Pocket Lint]