Intel's PC business chief doesn't see much of a future for traditional stand-alone tablets.
During the Intel Solutions Summit 2013 in Los Angeles this week, Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group, said he believes the 10-inch tablet form factor will "rapidly erode" this year in favor of smaller 7- to 8-inch tablets while larger 10-inch tablets will be incorporated by notebook-tablet hybrids with convertible displays and detachable screens.
Tablets, smartphones and notebooks are beginning to blur together, Skaugen said during his keynote. As a result, Intel is making a hard push in the hybrid Ultrabook space by focusing on touchscreen-based notebooks with either convertible displays or detachable screens. "The biggest trends right now are convertibility and detachability," he said.
For example, Intel said larger, 13-inch Ultrabooks will likely have convertible tablet functionality, while smaller 11-inch Ultrabooks will have detachable screens that act as stand-alone tablets.
To emphasize that push, Skaugen said all new Ultrabooks running Intel's fourth-generation Core processor family, codenamed "Haswell," will require touchscreen support. Skaugen said Intel believes the two-for-one value proposition of having a working notebook with a touchscreen tablet will win over both consumers and business users.
Skaugen also said new Haswell-based Ultrabooks will feature not only touchscreen support but also facial recognition and voice recognition technology, faster solid-state drives, slimmer yet more durable chassis, and higher resolution displays.
"You're going to see a ton of innovation here," Skaugen said.