Core M Broadwell Speeds, Feeds, And Performance

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Forthcoming Core M Product Line-Up

Finally, taking a look at what initial Core M-powered devices will take shape in the near term, there have been a few announcements from the usual suspects. First, there's Dell's Latitude 13 7000, which is a 2-in-1 device. When snapped together, it’s a laptop with a 13-inch IPS touch display (1920 x 1080) and an Intel Core M or Core M vPro processor. The machine has a backlit keyboard and enough security features to make your IT guy smile. Detach the display, and you have a 13-inch tablet. OS options are Windows 8.1 64-bit and Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit.

Asus is also out in front with the upcoming Zenbook UX305 and other manufacturers are bound to follow suit in short order. Expect these systems to drop into highly competitive price brackets with each manufacturer jockeying to out-do the other. Broadwell Y is going to be the first serious Intel system with a chance at pulling business from the Android designs, and OEMs know it.

Broadwell Y is a huge step forward for Intel, and not just because the company is fighting to redeem itself after years of missed opportunities and the erosion of PC sales at the gain of tablet. Intel, for better or worse, is staking its future as a mobile company on the idea that it can do sub-5W form factors and compete for the tablets that are still lighting up sales charts (even if they aren't growing at the same rate as before).

If Intel pulls this off with Broadwell Y, it'll lock in the premium ultralight laptop segment around its own parts and offer credible alternatives to any ARM-based challengers that might make a play for these SKUs at some future point. It also offers a credible threat to ARM-based premium larger tablet offerings, with Intel fostering both Windows solutions as well as vigorously pursuing Android on X86 designs.  The bottom line is, Intel still wants to build solutions that can effectively attack both markets, of course.

Broadwell Y should be able do that -- and it's about time.


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