Some of the most important tablet news to come out of this year’s CES didn’t come in the form of a shiny new iPad or a table-sized jumbo tablet, but rather, came in the form of something much less assuming. With Intel’s release of chipsets designed specifically for the mobile space, we may see a shift in the market that has so far been dominated by ARM.
When Microsoft releases its Surface Pro tablet this Saturday, it will be one of the first tablets to utilize Intel’s 22nm Ivy Bridge architecture. This is a great vote of confidence for Intel, given that the chipset will be powering a tablet that features 1080p resolution and ultrabook-level performance. In fact, the Intel Core i5-3317U processor that runs the Surface Pro can already be found in ultrabooks such as the Sony Vaio Duo 11 and the Dell XPS 12.
Based off of Intel’s x86 architecture, the mobile-specific chipsets should be very competitive against ARM-based chipsets, which have thus far seen great success in iOS and Android tablets. Intel claims that one advantage over ARM will come in the form of less power consumption during video processing.
Does the future of computing lie in super-powered tablet/laptop hybrids? Intel seems to think so, and have proven that they have the technology to make them feasible. And judging by the amount of “convertible style” laptops and ultrabooks featured at CES, many OEMs seem to think so as well.