CNET sat down with Erik Reid, director of marketing for the Mobile Products Group at Intel, to talk about the chip giant's plans for the notebook market. Reid said ultrathin is a big move for Intel, it will be the company's primary mobile market focus in the next few months, until Nehalem-based Clarksfield notebook processors arrive. The Consumer ULV (CULV) platform will offer great battery life due to very low TDPs, he said, while also offering better aesthetics.
TDP, or thermal design power, describes the power envelope of a processor. For example, the current Apple MacBook Air uses Intel ultra-low-voltage processors with a TDP about half of the 35-watt rating for mainstream Intel mobile processors. Some of the lowest-power processors for the ultra-thin CULV category may be only a few watts more than the power-sipping Atom--which is rated at no more than 2.5 watts.
And what will consumers notice the most? Aside from good battery life, the laptop's aesthetics. "Systems can't ever be too thin. So thin will be a significant change in the industry and we're very pleased with the traction that we're seeing leading up to the introduction of those products," Reid said.
Prices will also get consumers' attention. "The affordability thing is really important. Look at your MacBook Air and think about that in terms of being available at different price points," said Intel spokesman Bill Calder.