Next-gen Ultrabook Tech: Smaller HDD’s, Haswell Processors and Voice Control

Putting down cold, hard cash on a new technology purchase is a tougher ordeal than one might at first imagine: every day there’s the promise of better screens, faster chips, smaller & lighter chassis with improved user interfaces. You’re plagued by self doubt as your browse the many options, before ultimately deciding that your tired old machine will hold out another few months until prices come down and there’s some exciting new tech in the space , but what exactly is coming down the pipe for consumers in the coming months? Read on as I run down three innovations in the space heading to an Ultrabook near you.

Improved Voice Control

Nuance Logo

During their recent developer conference in San Fransisco, Intel announced a partnership with well known Voice Command company Nuance, an outfit widely known for their popular and powerful Dragon Dictation software line. Their joint intention is to bring voice control to as many Ultrabook owners as possible, with excellent hardware and software integration. What does this mean? Well, aside from having to shell out for dictation software on top of your laptop purchase, you could soon be controlling your laptop without having to lift a finger, finally bringing us closer to the dream of dual wielding coffee and tea at our desks.

When is it arriving?: Looks like the back end of 2012, likely first landing on the Dell XPS series of Ultrabooks, with more Ultrabooks coming with the tech in 2013.

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 Ultra-thin HD drives courtesy of Western Digital

5mm drive from Western Gigital

Whilst platter based hard drives might seem like old news in a world quickly falling in love with Solid State storage, Western Digital have come up with a way to get our Ultrabooks both thinner, and cheaper. How? Well, their latest HD drive (technically a hybrid due to 32GB of SSD storage included for quick boot times) is a mere 5mm thick, but offers 500gb of storage, meaning prices come down from the cheaper platter storage, and thickness drops due to the outrageously thin nature of the drive itself. This kind of innovation is what drives advancement in multiple industries from thermal imaging to multimedia.

When is it arriving?: OEM’s are likely receiving shipments to test in prototypes as you read this, so we should be expecting this tech to ship in models in the first half of 2013.

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More processing power and longer battery lives courtesy of next gen Intel chipsets

Intel Haswell Diagram

What’s the one thing we all want from our portable devices? Well, aside from the ability to print money, more power and greater battery life is usually at the top of most Christmas lists, which is exactly what Intel are planning with their next round of Ultrabook targeted processors. The current generation of Ivy Bridge processors sip power at a still impressive 17w, but with Haswell the company have managed to get power consumption down to a wild 10w whilst giving power a gentle boost. They’re claiming it to be the first generation of chips built from the ground up for Ultrabooks in mind, which is nothing but a good thing.

When is it arriving?: 2013, Intel claim. Though you’ll likely be hearing more about it in the run up to its arrival.

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About Alec

I'm a writing man. Aside from discussing technology, I natter about music on my own website Misc.Music. Find me on .
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