Intel: It Will Be Hard to Sell Notebooks without Touchscreens

Intel Continues to Praise Touchscreens on Laptops

by Anton Shilov
10/26/2012 | 07:08 AM

There are not a lot of notebooks or ultrabooks these days that have touch-screens, but Intel Corp. believes that in about a year from now it will be hard to sell a consumer laptop without touchscreen thanks to Microsoft Corp,’s Windows 8 operating system, which user interface is optimized for touch input.


“A year from now, I think selling a PC without touch will be very difficult, at least for consumers. Enterprises are slower to change,” said Paul Otellini, chief executive officer of Intel, in an interview with AllThingsD web-site.

The head of the world’s largest maker of semiconductors himself, who has been praising touch-enabled ultrabooks for quite some time now, these days uses one of a few PCs on the market today with a touchscreen. He even

“It is pretty compelling. I never thought that I would touch my screen much, but it works out pretty well,” said Mr. Otellini.

Although from the software perspective Windows 8 will enable touch-based input on a mainstream operating system, there are numerous hardware limitations as well. There are a number of things that prevent touchscreen-based notebook devices from becoming widespread: one is manufacturing cost, another is heat produced by components of electronic devices (which makes touch-screens uncomfortable to use). The pricing of touchscreens is something Intel intends to take care of this year, but touch-sensing panels will still be pretty hard to implement while maintaining very thin screens that are used on today’s mobile PCs.

Surprisingly, Intel’s chief exec does not believe in tablets as a form-factor, despite of the fact that Apple sold over 100 million iPad slates in two and a half years. The broad market will need to wed tablet with keyboard, other peripherals and high-performance microprocessor to provide decent responsiveness and offer rich feature-set, believes the head of the chipmaker.

“I happen to believe that the standalone tablet is not the form factor people will (move) to. The fact everybody is now fitting tablets with keyboards suggests that real buyers have come to the same conclusion,” said Paul Otellini.