Intel's Ultrabook Future Is A PC-Tablet Mashup You Can Afford

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]



    biggest issue... price

      And weight.

    I like it!

    Shaaweeet.... If this is the future of Ultra books, as soon as the price becomes more manageable, I AM IN..!!

      How much more "manageable" does the price need to get? A Core i3 Asus Zenbook is already cheaper than a 64Gb iPad, yet has double the storage and is way sexier.

        Manageable to ME.. ! plus the zenbook doesn't run 8 or have usb3 ports. Frankly this thing has better specs all round and I like the fact that it's nice and beefy. Making devices thinner and lighter is fine if they can match the power and battery life. I'm currently using the Transformer and I love it, but it could use a bit more grunt.

          Look out for the new Zenbooks when the Ivybridge update is released.... you will be quite surprised..

    This looks pretty good....
    Probably the only way I would justify a touch screen on laptop/ultrabook

    I think the make/break will be two things - weight, and the interface that the OS prefers - touch or type.

      Would say it will be touch going by the pictures

      I would say both touch and type. Touch when the screen is detached. Type when not.

    Holy crap, do want!

    This was always going to happen - I'd just love to see a 10.1" version and I would buy if it was at the ~$800-$900 mark.

      This +9001

    Yes! This + Win8 is going to be killer.

    That actually looks really, really nice.

    scweet.. so $1000 US$ that equates to what? $5000 Aus$? I'm sure the price will be double the US pricing when its launched here.. :-(

      If it's more than shipping + 10% duty + 10% GST difference, show the local distributors where they can shove it by importing.

      That's OK. Given that both the average and minimum wage here is closer to three times those in the US, it will still be more affordable for us. Or would you be willing to take a 60% pay cut if it meant getting things here for US prices?

        So by your theory, someone who couldn't afford one of these on 20k a year in the US, shouldn't be able to afford one if they're being paid 60k a year in Aus?


    Yup.. the ASUS Transformer was cool when I first saw it but it was only half way there.. it ran Android (not a totally bad thing) and the design of the tranforming mechanism was a bit clumsy and then you have the recessed keyboard issues and so on..

    What I see in these pictures is a much more streamlined device that runs a proper O/S rather than a mobile O/S.. it will be able to do what a regular laptop/netbook can but also do touch stuff too. When the Transformer came out of the design stage I was very excited but then that excitement faded because it just didn't live up to my expectations.. I'm hoping this new direction, which ASUS has begun, is definitely made better by manufacturer competition and innovation.

      agreed re. transformer - it was you who got one, right? I thought it was a great concept but only halfway.

      btw, no offence, but your avatar always looks to me like the dude has just picked his nose and is looking at it. Maybe I just have a gross mind.

        I was almost about to get one (and to calrify I meant to say "EEE Slider" not Transformer).. then I had a personal hands-on and heard about the Transformer coming out.. and waited and then found the Transformer was also a bit "meh".. and then Windows Tablets were on the horizon and I sat on my hands to wait and see what would happen. :)

    Indeed. I have to give credit to ASUS for demonstrating the value of devices like the Transformer. It's been quite popular for an Android slate - all it's missing is a desktop OS.

    I have no doubt that ASUS will be among the first to have a slate (a Transformer) running Windows RT.

    As for this particular product: as much as I like design experiments, when I saw the Transformer Slide it ... just didn't really do it for me, somehow. This is the same. I still prefer the look of the Yoga.

      I'm the opposite - I really like the Transformer Slide. The normal Transformer is also excellent but there is something about the slide that works better for me.

    This looks like what an iPad should've been.
    I think finally there's a true alternative to the hype of pads being compared to laptops and 'books .
    I want one , this could convert me away from PC's to non-upgradeable portables .....

    This looks a lot like the TX100 Samsung showed at CES last year. I've been hangin' out for that thing for 15 months or so now. Maybe Samsung have been waiting for Win8 or Intel's new Atom CPUs?

    I'm all for a transformer design running Win8, thing with the slider is I don't want to be carrying around the extra weight of a base station when I'm not using it.

      if you wouldn't be using it, why did you get it? You'd be better off getting a tablet and a separate bluetooth keyboard.

        Samsung already make one of those.

          one of what, a separate bluetooth keyboard?

          So does Apple, Microsoft, Logitech... about anyone who's made a keyboard...

            A tablet capable of running Windows 8 with dock and bluetooth keyboard. The Series 7 Tablet.

        Tablets + keyboards are a gimmick, why not just bu an *actual* laptop?

          Why buy a less functional laptop and seperate tablet over a more functional device that handles both requirements?

            Indeed.. when an "actual" laptop with a touchscreen stops being a tablet+laptop is when people stop being so shortsighted.

    YAY! Finally a tablet thats not just a fancy toy.....

    that is exactly the pc/tablet ive been waiting for. i will get one the second it comes out. (especially if its red)

    its pretty much the reason i haven't gone and got an ultrabook yet, its been obvious these were coming

    1. x86/64 architecture. Brilliant
    2. Good battery life. Brilliant
    2. Able to run my massive collection of Steam games. Beyond Awesome.
    3. Want. Now.

    Also Intel chips need less heat and more god dam efficient power use. Intel are still leagues behind ARM. Hurry up Intel.

    That is a winner for me.

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