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Intel invests in display manufacturers, predicts 'majority' of Ultrabooks will have touch in 2013 (update)

Intel is presenting at the e21 Forum at Computex in Taipei, and SVP Tom Kilroy just announced that the company is planning to focus on touch-enabled Ultrabooks, investing in factories that produce panels that are 13 inches and larger. Some of the partners listed included TPK, Wintek, HannsTouch and Cando, several of which are based here in Taiwan. This of course marks a departure from last year's models, many of which featured 11-inch displays, and didn't include touch functionality. Kilroy made a point of emphasizing that Intel won't be stopping at 13 inches either, opting to produce larger-screened Ultrabooks as well -- which seems to be in line with what we heard back at CES. Either way, touch is here to stay.

Update: We caught up with Tom Kilroy following the keynote, and he further explained the investment, suggesting that it's an "insurance policy" to motivate display manufacturers to increase large-panel production, even though there may not yet be demand. He also predicted that the "majority" of Ultrabooks shipping in 2013 will include touch panels, though he also said that there will continue to be a market for non-touch devices for some time to come. Check the press release below for more info.

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Intel, Industry Shaping Future Of Computing Experiences On Intel® Architecture

Intel Corporation Senior Vice President Tom Kilroy officially introduced the next wave of Ultrabook™ systems during a keynote address at Computex Taipei 2012. Making a bold statement around the importance of touch technology, Kilroy also announced that Intel has signed agreements with several leading touch panel manufacturers to ensure adequate capacity to meet the expected demand for touch-enabled Ultrabook experiences over the next several years.
He also highlighted the company's efforts to deliver user-centric experiences across a range of mobile devices from the Ultrabook to smartphones and tablets, pointing to momentum across all three.

More than 35 new ultra-sleek, ultra-responsive Ultrabook systems are available now or will be for purchase within 30 days, with more than 110 designs expected in the next year. Powered by 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors and made with the world's most advanced 22nm 3-D tri-gate transistors, these new Ultrabook devices are more responsive and offer enhanced security in a selection of stylish designs for consumers and business users.

"Our life experiences are defined by our senses -- by what we see, hear and touch," said Kilroy. "These human senses are also at the foundation of Intel's vision for the Ultrabook to deliver a no-compromise, must-have computing experience.

"Today, thanks to the work of the industry at-large, we are one step closer to meeting that vision with the arrival of the next wave of 3rd generation Intel Core processor-powered devices. The innovation must continue as we move to touch-based Ultrabook convertible designs, and in the future aim to give them and other devices senses, making our interaction with them natural and intuitive."

Next Wave of Ultrabook Devices Bring More Responsiveness, Enhanced Security

In addition to increased responsiveness and enhanced security features, Ultrabook devices powered by the new 3rd generation Intel Core processors deliver up to two times the media and graphics performance compared to the previous generation, long battery life and offer more choice of stylish, thin designs.