-- Chromebooks will get Broadwell too: The new chips are for Windows and Chromebooks. Expect the first Chromebooks with fifth-generation Core and Celeron chips to become available in February. Intel is finding a way for its chips to work with more operating systems, especially with Microsoft's Windows losing ground to Google's Android and Chrome. Most Chromebook applications require an Internet connection, thus diminishing the need for high-performance chips like Broadwell as a lot of processing happens in the cloud. But Google claims more Chrome applications are now working offline, and faster chips help speed up laptops.
-- No tablets for Broadwell U: Tablets like Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 are equipped with full-blown Core i chips based on Haswell. But the likelihood of such tablets getting Broadwell-based Core i chips is low. Tablets usually have chips that draw less than 10 watts of power, and the new Core i chips consume 15 watts of power and more, making them unsuitable for tablets. The Core i chips are for laptops and hybrids, and Intel has configured another chip called Core M -- which draws between 4.5 watts and 10 watts -- for tablets.
-- Skylake is looming: Intel is trying to lower the curtain on Broadwell's troubled past and is promoting its successor, code-named Skylake, which will bring significant performance gains and a richer user experience to laptops in the second half of the year. Skylake is important for bringing a "wire-free" experience to laptops, with wireless technology replacing display, charging and data transfer cables. Chip shipment delays have led PC makers to bypass Broadwell on some laptops and instead wait for Skylake, which Intel has dubbed its most important processor architecture in a decade. If you are looking to upgrade to a wire-free laptop experience, skip Broadwell and upgrade to laptops with Skylake chips in the future.
-- Quad-core Broadwell chips coming next year: Intel is initially only shipping dual-core Core i3, i5 and i7 Broadwell U chips, and quad-core chips code-named Broadwell H will ship later this year. The quad-core chips will have Iris Pro graphics cores, which are packed with the latest technologies such as 4K video encoding and decoding. Broadwell H chips will be Intel's fastest performing laptop processors.
-- 3D cameras and natural interaction: Desktops are becoming more fun by offering interaction through touch, voice, gestures and sound. Broadwell will be a springboard to bring such interactive features to laptops, many of which will be possible with Intel's RealSense 3D depth-sensing camera. Much like human eyes, the camera can recognize objects and determine distances between items. It can also make Skype chats fun by removing background images and superimposing custom graphics, which could be useful when chatting from a cafe or an airport. The camera can also determine the shape and contours of objects, and scan 3D models for 3D printing. Intel hopes the 3D camera will even recognize human moods and reading habits, though that's wishful thinking at this point.
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