Intel’s new Haswell CPUs, updates to last year’s Ivy Bridge processors, promise to give touchscreen PCs the battery life and graphics power that they need. The Haswell will be available for desktop PCs as well, but the new processor’s benefits will be best felt in thinner machines.
Intel says the new chip will show huge improvements in battery life from last year’s processors, gaining three hours of video playback time. Intel has actually doubled the longevity time when the computer is asleep or in stand-by mode. The company is claiming that with the new processor, you could leave your laptop suspended for up to 10 days before the battery will die.
The new processors will also allow for thinner machines than ever. Intel’s Y-series parts will require less cooling, which allows machines to shrink even thinner. The smaller parts aren’t quite as powerful as ones found in bigger machines — for example they might not be up to the task of video-editing or heavy-duty gaming — but they are leaps and bounds more powerful than parts of their size have been in the past. The parts will appear in tablets as thin as 10 millimeters.
The new machines will also have noticeably improved graphics. Intel claims that its new Iris graphics can play some of most demanding games, including Tomb Raider and Call of Duty, even at low settings. These graphics will improve a user’s gaming experience and allow for faster encoding and decoding of video.
According to Intel’s ultrabook campaign, these PCs are better computers across the board. Touchscreens and Intel’s Wireless Display are required in every ultrabook, along with vastly improved battery life that’s hoped to up the industry average. The computers can also wake up from sleep in less than three seconds, incorporate speedy solid state storage, and have a stereo microphone ready for voice command software in the future.
Some are calling this the most significant laptop processor update in years. Haswell will be formally launched June 4, and consumers won’t have to wait long after that to pick up one of the powerful new machines.