Laptops in 2013
Microsoft Windows 8 continues to make big news in the last few months, while ARM-powered laptops will make a huge splash somewhere in 2013, thanks to Lenovo and Asus. DigiTimes reported that ARM will be joining the notebook industry to take on Intel and AMD with their x86 chips. Microsoft is still developing the beta build of its upcoming operating system. Microsoft has revealed plans on its Windows 8 on ARM version, which allows future laptops powered by ARM chips to use the operating system. However, much of the focus is still on the implementation of Windows 8 on tablets in 2013.
Windows 8 ARM laptops won’t be able to run standard x86 applications; consequently Microsoft will supply compatible software through its Windows Store. Manufacturers of x86 processors will continue to release next generation mobile chips. Upcoming Intel Core-i mobile processors are intended to achieve better energy efficiency, while AMD will offer more innovation in laptop space. Its upcoming E2-1800 processor is a 1.7GHz dual-core chip with built-in Radeon HD 7340 GPU. The processor is destined for low-cost laptops and netbooks with exceptional 3D technology.
Microsoft will be pushing third party software developers to adapt their products with Metro UI and because Windows 8 is not expected to arrive until Q4 2012, software developers still have enough time to port their current x86 software to ARM environment. Laptops consumers in 2013 will also witness a shift of trend to thinner, sleeker form factor, as analysts expected that the sales of ultrabooks will match that of notebooks in 2013. Ultrabooks offer compact and sleek design with performance level that can match the computing requirements of current laptop consumers. Advances in miniaturization technology will be such that we will be able to put a 2013 ultrabook into a large envelope. Samsung released Samsung Series 9 13″ in March 2012, with 12.7mm thickness and high-end ultrabooks in 2013 may finally be thinner than 10mm.
iPhone and iPad consumers are already get used to the pixel-dense, high resolution display, called Retina Display. Intel suggested recently in Developer Forum that the industry will start seeing laptops equipped with Retina Display-like technology. Apple defined a Retina Display technology as displays with a pixel density of 300ppi and 12” distance. However the new iPad with its 9.7” display and 2048×1536 has 264ppi and Apple called it a Retina Display-enabled tablet. It means, a 10” netbook with this technology should have the new iPad’s resolution, while a standard 14” laptop should have a 3280×2048 pixels resolution (276ppi). Microsoft is moving towards Windows 8 and its interface may support extra high resolutions.
In 2013, the market is preparing for a major uptick in tablet adoption. Manufacturers will ship nearly 185 million tablets, which represents a huge threat for laptop manufacturers. Tablets are relatively a young product category in tech world, but they prove to be capable of handling basic computing tasks previously available only on laptops. While Apple will remain the king of tablet industry in 2013, there will be significant innovation in its MacBook lineup. Some sources reported in September last year that the 2013 model of MacBook Air will grab power from sun light. The highly efficient solar panels may not be able to run the notebook for 24 hours, but they should be able to improve battery life noticeably during daylight hours.