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At IFA Berlin, Intel Takes Wraps Off Core M "Broadwell" Specs

The IFA took place in Berlin, Germany last week, where Intel took the opportunity to share a lot more information about its latest upcoming family of mobile processors. (IFA is German, and stands for “Internationale Funkaustellung” which, literally translated, means “International Broadcast Exhibition,” and is rendered at AcronymFinder more verbosely as “International Fair of Broadcasting Services.”) This CPU family was initially introduced under the Broadwell name at CompuTex in Tapei earlier this summer in June, but is only now getting more complete disclosure from Intel as the Core M Processor line, along with disclosure of numerous Core M based tablets, convertibles and ultrabooks from a variety of OEMs as well. The image at the left below is an enhanced photo of the Broadwell die (source: Intel).

The biggest news about the Core M family is that its wattage ranges are low, low, low. At the same time that Intel is touting these chips as running up to 50 percent faster for compute-intensive loads, and up to 40 percent faster for graphics performance, as compared to Haswell models, the processor package itself is 50 percent smaller than its predecessor. This means that the rated power consumption levels for these chips– rated at 4.5 W across the board — is low enough to enable designs that don’t require fans for active cooling, and better still, mean big boosts for battery life in wafer-thin tablets, convertibles, and ultrabooks.

Several OEMs got up on stage with Intel at IFA to proffer a variety of Broadwell designs, too, most of which are slated for delivery in mid- to late-October 2014:

  • Acer is preparing the Aspire Switch 11, a 2-in-1 device (a tablet with 11.6″ display and a keyboard dock) for market delivery.
  • Asus is preparing its ZenBook UX305 a 13″ ultrabook with a QHD display for October delivery, and had already announced its Transformer Book T300FA 2-in-1 device at Computex last June.
  • Dell is offering a business class 2-in-1 called the Latitude 13 7000 Series with a 13″ HD display.
  • HP is planning two 2-in-1 ENVY x2 models, in 13.3″ and 15.6″ form factors.
  • Lenovo is preparing a new ThinkPad Helix 2-in-1 model with an 11.6″ full HD display and two different keyboard docks (the Pro model features the little red rubber trackbump so beloved of many ThinkPad users).

This promises to make October an interesting month for prospective Windows tablet buyers, with a particular emphasis on more-business focused models from Dell, HP, and Lenovo in the mix. Methinks that the Surface Pro 3 is going to get a run for its money from a series of even thinner and lighter 2-in-1 models with superior battery life.

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