On the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 2015, Intel® introduced its line of 5th generation CORE™, “Broadwell”, processors. These new additions include the CORE m processor, which was introduced in early December, 2014, and is notable as a first in consumer grade 14 nm chip technology.
Don Clark wrote about the debut of these CPUs in an article titled Intel Unveils New Flagship ‘Broadwell’ Chips for PCs. Intel has provided new pages on its website promoting these new CORE processors.
Readers unfamiliar with why the debut of consumer-grade 14 nm computing technology is an important event should consider the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 2 in 1 computer (tablet and laptop). The Surface Pro 3 empowers users with a completely functional personal computer powered with Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 O/S (not the Windows 8.1 RT O/S powering the Surface 2) in an ultra lightweight, comparatively small hardware form factor.
The capability of this hardware form factor (which works fine without a fan) to run completely standard versions of the current Microsoft O/S release should not be under-appreciated. HP is presently selling a model of its Envy consumer-grade PC line, powered by a CORE m and 8 GBs of RAM. This hardware can easily support a Linux Virtual Machine, not to mention any of the 3rd party software targeted to the Windows 8.1 user community.
Price is a drawback. HP displayed a price of $949.99 for the Envy device on its website on January 5, 2015. On the same date, I noted Lenovo promoting a “Yoga 3 Pro 2-in-1” powered by the CORE m at an even higher price of $1,199.00.
The initial market for this technology is, therefore, the high end of the laptop/notebook consumer, which may limit its sales promise to consumers in need of a refresh for existing hardware. But a combination of better marketing communications, together with consumer appreciation for the capabilities of the hardware I have not discussed in this post (readers are recommended to read Clark’s post, or to review the pages I have mentioned on Intel’s website to obtain this information), should help these devices make a positive contribution to the Intel OEMs opting to bring them to market.
I will discuss the marketing communications point in the next post to this blog. The point of the communications effort is to better inform consumers about the benefits of devices like these, which are powered by a full-featured O/S (Windows 8.1), versus lower cost competitive options with neither the support of a comparable O/S, nor a reliable promise of an upgrade path given a plethora of versions (I’m thinking squarely about Android here).
Ira Michael Blonder
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