Here come the pricey, 12-hour laptops
But even with stellar battery life, the four-figure price tags could slow sales, says Forrester analyst
Computerworld - Apple and Samsung have both released new laptops that utilize the power management capability of Intel's latest chip -- and to great result.
But these are top-of-the-food-chain systems -- sleek and thin, with power-efficient SSDs and a chip, Haswell, built from the ground up with energy savings in mind. The prices of these systems reflect that effort, and may be a big negative for some would-be buyers.
"I'm not coming up with any dramatic change in the world," said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester, when asked for his thoughts about the 12-hour battery systems promised by the MacBook Air ((See review) and the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus. "It's not like we're all going to become left handed or something," he said.
Gillett's hard assessment is based on the need for a lot of cold cash to buy these new arrivals, especially when the world seems mostly ok with getting by on less.
Intel's Haswell, a 22-nanometer chip, turns transistors on and off to adjust power usage. It also has faster interconnects to speed data transfers, cutting the time data spends in transit, something that also reduces power. Overall, Intel has said the chip can extend battery life 50%.
Samsung this week announced a new addition to its ultrabook line, the ATIV Book 9 Plus. This is a 13.3-in. system has a screen resolution of 3200-x1800 pixels, 5.9-second boot-up times and 0.9 of a second wake-up.
Samsung didn't reveal pricing, but the thin, high-resolution systems in this line start at just over $1,000 and can go higher depending on the size of the SSD, whether 128GB or 256GB.
The MacBook Air starts at $999 for the 11-in. model and climbs in price as well, depending on configuration.
Gillett sees the appeal of longer battery life, and says that might help change people's minds about Windows laptops.
But in both the business and consumer markets, "there are a bunch of people that really like $600 laptop prices and are going to turn their noses up" at more costly systems, said Gillett.
For buyers who don't want to spend a lot on a system, "I don't think 12-hour battery life is going to get them to budge because I think the issue is the money, not the battery life," said Gillett.
The power savings Haswell is capable of won't be limited to high-end ultrabooks, and the best approach for PC buyers may be patience. Haswell is expected to deliver battery-extending benefits to HDDs as well.
Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Processors in Computerworld's Processors Topic Center.
- Accelerating the Delivery Microsoft Office 365 Many organizations use Office 365's cloud-based mail, collaboration and communication services as the dominant workload. However, as services move to the cloud, data...
- Four Little-Known Ways WAN Optimization Can Benefit Your Organization Read this white paper to learn how far WAN optimization has come, and how to make this most of your investments by using...
- 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant Report For the 7th year in a row, Riverbed is in the "Leaders" Quadrant of the 2014 Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers. In...
- Secure, Intelligent WAN Op for Exchange Server 2013 Improve productivity and reduce WAN impact & costs allowing you to consolidate exchange servers. Test results show that Riverbed Steelhead appliances accelerate email...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Processors White Papers | Webcasts