Intel: Ultra-thin is in for notebooks

At a press event in Sydney, the vendor laid out its slender notebook ambitions

Intel is tipping ultra-thin notebooks will invade the mainstream market this year.

At a press event in Sydney, the vendor showcased its range of products that fit into three distinct market segments: Low-consumption netbooks, ultra-slim laptops and traditional notebook PCs. But it is the slim notebook category that is demanding Intel’s attention.

Intel national manager, Philip Cronin, said that unlike netbooks, slimmer notebooks come in a small package without sacrificing too much performance.

“Users are demanding portability and space but some still want a performance engine and we want to work through these categories,” he said. “It is clear from our independent research that there is still a large demand for larger form factors.”

Beyond processors and platforms, Intel has also adopted a holistic slim line notebook approach.

“Packaging has become important but we are looking at the whole problem,” Intel senior technical manager, Graham Tucker, said. “We have also considered thermal dynamics technology and reducing LED display thickness, not just the silicon.”

While Intel is expecting an “ultra-thin Christmas”, Tucker clarified that the vendor has not neglected the other two market segments and pointed to the company’s extensive processor portfolio.

“We have a variety of processors with varying performance between market segments,” he said. “This ranges from our Atom range [suitable for netbooks], and our Celeron to Centrino2 range [for ultra-thin and high performance notebooks].”

While Intel carries a broad product line, national marketing manager, Kate Burleigh, conceded that there is no one comprehensive notebook processor and consumers will need to make some concessions.

“We have a range of systems at different price points but there are trade-offs,” she said. “People will have to decide between features such as size, battery life or Wifi capabilities.”

Intel plans also plans to open up its indirect distribution channel to include telecommunications partners.