Computex: New Processors, Dual Display Notebooks, 5G Connectivity, AI for PCs & Asus Challenges Apple's Touch Bar
It's a busy tech week with Apple's WWDC and Intel's Computex keynote in Taiwan. Apple's keynote was all about software and there was a lot to love to be sure. Computex is obviously more about hardware and there were a few keynote highlights worth noting.
Yoga Book Gen 2
The first trend actually began last year when Lenovo introduced their Yoga Book that came with two displays. One of the displays doubled as a virtual keyboard but could be used for pen input as well as noted in the video below.
Lenovo was back on stage at Computex 2018 to describe their second generation Yoga that will use AI to assist the keyboard be more accurate and fluid.
The 2019 Asus Precog
At Computex, this concept was echoed by Asus CEO Jerry Shen that gave us a quick sneak peek at their new dual display notebook branded Precog that will use an AI assisted keyboard. It will launch in 2019.
Both Apple and Google are eying this next-gen notebook category as presented in our November 2017 report titled "Both Apple and Google are Tinkering with Hybrid Notebooks using Dual Displays."
Apple patents for this type of product go all the way back to 2010-2011 when they called it a reconfigurable notebook. Apple envisioned users being able to add a virtual numeric pad when needed or the ability to shift the virtual trackpad to where users preferred to position it and more.
If anything, we know that Apple could enter this notebook category if the need arises rather quickly being that they have a number patents covering this device.
For now, Lenovo will be bringing their new Yoga-2 notebook to market this Christmas. When the unit lands at a Best Buy store this fall I'll be sure to check out the second generation virtual Keyboard driven by AI to see if it could be used by pros.
Zenbook Pro with a 5.5" Video Trackpad Challenges Apple's Touch Bar
For Christmas, Asus will introduce their answer to Apple's Touch Bar. The new ZenBook Pro 15" ditches the traditional trackpad for a mini 5.5" display that doubles as a trackpad with multiple user interfaces as noted below.
Intel noted that their keynote touched on their unwavering commitment to delivering the best performance as they announced the latest additions to their mobile lineup of the 8th Gen Intel Core processor family: the Whiskey Lake U-series and Amber Lake Y-series, featuring up to double-digit performance gains and integrated gigabit Wi-Fi.
Expect more than 140 new laptops and 2 in 1s from OEMs starting this fall. And for desktop, by the end of this year, we're delivering a new X-series release and the next Intel Core S-series processor.
Beyond processing power, Intel also saw the opportunity for even more PC acceleration with the introduction of the Intel Optane SSD 905P, now available in an M.2 form factor. Delivering industry-leading endurance, this new, slim Intel Optane SSD is a high-performance drive that allows the processor to spend less time waiting and more time computing, enabling users to enjoy an amazing computing experience.
Intel further noted that "As we celebrate Intel's 50th anniversary, we also recognize the 40th anniversary of Intel's x86 architecture. In honor of that, we revealed the limited edition 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8086K processor, the first Intel processor with a 5.0 GHz turbo frequency. In celebration of this milestone, and our enthusiasts, we're giving away 8,086 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8086K processors."
All-Day Battery Life
Intel added that "The display consumes the most battery in a device, and one way we're working to enable all-day battery life is by co-engineering the new Intel Low Power Display Technology, featured in a one watt panel manufactured by Sharp and Innolux, which can cut LCD power consumption by half. Through continued innovation with the industry, we expect to deliver an additional four to eight hours of local video playback – that means battery life could be up to 28 hours on some devices."
At Mobile World Congress, Intel talked about their leadership and the importance of 5G. Sprint is now joining them as a partner to sell Intel processor based, 5G-connected PCs in stores around the world. Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft are working with them as well to deliver the industry's first 5G-connected laptops and 2 in 1s in 2019.
Intel noted that "As we pave the way for 5G, expect us to deliver 10 more 4G-connected PCs from partners like Acer, Asus, Dell and HP – on top of the 25 currently in market. These always-connected PCs are not only sleek and beautiful, but packed with performance."
Intelligence will be integral to the modern, adaptable PC experience. Our plan to bring AI to the PC is by delivering tools and resources to the developer community and collaborating with OEMs to package the AI capabilities into new devices.
AI is coming to the Intel platform for PC's. Intel introduced the AI on PC Developer Program to provide tools and training for developers – including the OpenVINO toolkit and Windows* ML – to fully utilize hardware capabilities to unlock AI innovation.
While our report pointed to some of the bigger highlights of Intel's keynote, you could always dive into the full Computex 2018 keynote here. You should note that in the first 6-plus minutes of that keynote you'll experience sound issues that get ironed out by minute 7.
If a full keynote video is too much for you, then check out the short 9 minute quickie of the keynote from Engadget below. It's a compromise.
One more Thing
In 2000, Steve Jobs introduced the G4 Cube Supercomputer.
At Computex 2018, Intel was proud to show how the old 'Tower' Type of computer was being replaced with new form factors. The design below was Intel's pride – even though it's larger than Apple's original G4 Cube and 18 years later.
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