Next-gen ultrabooks will require touch, wireless display, Intel reveals North Cape ultrabook reference design

Intel is setting new guidelines for next-generation ultrabooks featuring 4th generation Core (Haswell) processors. In order to qualify as an ultrabook, laptops won’t just have to be thin computers with solid state disks and Intel chips anymore. They’ll also need to feature touchscreen displays, Intel wireless display technology, and built-in anti-theft technology.

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The company is also showing off a reference design called North Cape which is an ultrabook which can be used as a notebook or a tablet. There’s a battery in the keyboard and one behind the display — and if you remove the display you can use the North Cape system as a standalone tablet that measures 0.4 inches thick.

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Without the keyboard, the North Cape tablet gets up to 10 hours of battery life. With the keyboard docked, battery life jumps to 13 hours.

Intel says its upcoming Haswell chips are the first processors it’s designed specifically for ultrabooks, and will offer the biggest generation-over-generation increase in battery life.

Intel suggests that ultrabooks based on these designs could hit the streets with starting prices around $799 or $899 later this year.