One of the downsides of today's Ivy Bridge-powered convertible tablets is their mediocre battery life. For example, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T we reviewed last month ran out of juice after just 6.4 hours in our web-browsing test—and the screen went dark after just 5.3 hours of video playback.
Happily, Intel's next-gen Haswell processors should improve those figures dramatically. The folks at Engadget got to play around with a Haswell convertible at an Intel event in London, and they say the machine is supposed to run for 10 hours in tablet mode. Connecting the tablet portion to the keyboard dock, which contains additional battery cells, is supposed to lengthen battery life to an impressive 13 hours.
Yeah, that's an improvement for sure.
This Ultrabook prototype has another interesting feature. The screen is a 13.3", 1080p specimen, but according to Engadget, "Intel designed [the machine] so that when it's undocked from the keyboard, the screen shrinks to a more hand-friendly 11.6-inch capacitive display that will ignore your grip along the sides of the screen." It's not clear whether the reduced resolution has an effect on backlight power use—and thus battery life—but it sounds neat regardless.
Haswell is expected to debut on the desktop in early June. There's no word yet on when the first ultrabook-ready variants of the chip will arrive, though.