Closer look at the Intel North Cape ultrabook reference design
Intel is showing off a reference design for a 4th generation ultrabook. It’s code-named North Cape, and it features all of the goodies you’d expect from a next-generation ultrabook including a touchscreen and wireless display… plus a few other features that make it stand out from the crowd.
First, while Intel is calling North Cape an ultrabook, the processor and other goodies are tucked away behind the screen — which you can pull away from the keyboard for use in tablet mode.
There are separate batteries in the keyboard and tablet sections, enabling up to 10 hours of run time in tablet mode or up to 13 hours of battery life with the keyboard docked.
Second, the North Cape reference tablet has a 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display with nearly no bezel. While that looks great when the screen is plugged into the keyboard, you kind of need a bit of a bezel when using the device as a tablet — because you need to be able to put your hands somewhere without accidentally tapping or swiping on the screen.
So you can press a button on top of the tablet to switch from a full 13.3 inch screen to a virtual 11.6 inch display with a sort of pseudo-bezel around the edges.
North Cape is just an example of what an ultrabook with an Intel Haswell processor could look like — but since Intel basically created the ultrabook category and sets the guidelines for ultrabooks, the company’s ideas carry a lot of weight with PC makers. So don’t be surprised if we see devices that look like this in the not too distant future.
On the other hand, we’ve seen Intel prototypes and concepts in the past, which never saw the light of day. Remember last year’s Nikiski concept with a transparent touchpad?