Published in PC Hardware

Broadwell 14nm 2-in-1 starts at $599

by on06 June 2014

$799 design thinner than iPad Air

Intel’s super thin Core M Broadwell 2-in-1 platform should end up cheaper than expected. Broadwell showed its face at Computex a few days ago in a 2-in-1 design, codenamed Llama Mountain. Intel has now followed up answering some of burning questions regarding the upcoming platform. 

Since the Ultrabook was really cool but expensive, when Intel showed off Llama Mountain many people were wondering whether the new 2-in-1s would end up a bit cheaper than $999, which was the launch price for Ultrabooks. People wanted to know how 2-in-1 systems would stack up against the premium tablets such as Apple’s iPad Air.

$799 Broadwell platform thinner than iPad Air

According to Kirk Skaugen, Intel's PC client chief, a Broadwell 2-in-1 system similar to Llama Mountain reference design that is thinner than the iPad Air should start at $799. This is higher than the iPad, but it gets you the full PC experience in a tablet form factor.

The slightly thicker Broadwell-based 2-in-1 detachable notebook should start at a rather acceptable $599. This is much closer to current pricing of the iPad Air, but it won't be as cool and thin. Despite the fact that this system might end up slightly thicker, it will still be fanless and can sit in $599 to $699 price range, which is considered a mainstream buyers' market. Of course Broadwell based Core M processors will run much faster than current 2-in-1 designs based on Atom Bay Trail chips, but they might be tad slower from current Y or U series Core i7, Core i5 processors with much higher TDP and a fan.

Can Core M Windows 8.1 defeat iOS?

Windows 8.1 is not as cool as iOS for most users and tablet usage is at a record high. Kids these days are starting to use tablets more than PC devices and even doing homework on iPads and other tablets. Introduction of Office for iOS is going to make things even worse as currently you can do everything on your tablet that a normal person needs to in his or her busy day.

PC gaming, powerful 3D rendering capabilities and a few other productivity tasks will remain reserved for PCs, but this is fast becoming a niche market. Tablets are just fine for casual gamers, email checkers, web browsers, facebookers and instant messaging addicts. This might be the biggest problem that Intel currently faces. Despite a great architecture and more CPU power, end users might not need that much power, as the power of ARM based tablet is enough for most.

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