Intel Inside: 12 Hot Mobile Devices From IDF 2012

Intel's Mobility Push

Intel may already be a staple in the traditional PC arena, but the chip giant is now vying for a share of the mobility market as well, hoping its low-power Atom and Core processors can go head to head against ARM.

That message rang loud and clear at Intel's Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco last week, emphasized by a generous lineup of Intel-fueled mobile devices. Ranging from Ultrabooks to hybrid PCs to smartphones, here are 12 cool gadgets with Intel inside.

Toshiba Satellite U925t Convertible Ultrabook

Toshiba's first-ever convertible Ultrabook, the Satellite U925t, was one of several hybrid PCs at IDF that touted a half-tablet, half-notebook design. In the Satellite U925t's case, users can opt for traditional clamshell mode or use the sliding hinges to move the top lid down for a more tablet-like experience.

Toshiba's Satellite U925t is also fully touch-enabled, runs an Intel third-generation Ivy Bridge processor and weighs in at about 3.2 pounds. Pricing details haven't been released yet, but Toshiba plans to officially launch the new PC at the end of October, alongside the launch of Windows 8.

Dell XPS Duo 12 Convertible Ultrabook

Dell's XPS Duo 12 Ultrabook definitely stood out as being the most unique hybrid device on the IDF show floor. Rather than sliding the top screen down over the keyboard like most convertible Ultrabooks, users of the Dell XPS Duo 12 rotate its screen -- which sits within a detachable bezel frame -- to transition into tablet mode.

Fully touch-enabled and optimized for Windows 8, the XPS Duo 12 has 97 percent more pixels than standard HD displays, creating a super-crisp user experience. It wasn't the lightest or thinnest Ultrabook on the IDF block but its unique form factor and bright display certainly grabbed attendees' attention.

Dell hasn't specified a price point yet, but said the XPS Duo 12 will launch when Windows 8 does at the end of October.

Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook

Acer's Aspire S7 is touch-enabled for Windows 8 and sports a unique metallic unibody design, similar to Apple's MacBook Air. It comes in a 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch model and runs an Intel Ivy Bridge Core processor.

Both models are slim, light and boast long battery lives, with the 13.3-inch model getting up to 12 hours. They also come equipped with Acer's Twin Air cooling system to ensure power efficiency and prevent users' laps from burning up during use. Also included is a light-sensing keyboard, which automatically detects changes in outside lighting and adjusts its backlit display accordingly.

Pricing and availability details for the Aspire S7 models have not yet been disclosed.

Lenovo ThinkPad XI Carbon Ultrabook

Lenovo released the ThinkPad XI Carbon Ultrabook as a testament to the ThinkPad brand's 20-year anniversary. And while it's much thinner, lighter and faster than the first ThinkPads that hit U.S. shelves, the XI Carbon Ultrabook still maintains that air of business-class professionalism that makes a ThinkPad a ThinkPad.

The XI Carbon comes with Intel’s vPro platform for PC management, which can be leveraged by IT teams to automatically deploy patch updates, remotely troubleshoot PCs and easily access features for identity and data theft protection. It also comes with two USB ports, a DisplayPort, a headphone jack and an SD card reader.

Its enterprise-ready design, however, doesn't compromise portability; the XI Carbon weighs only 3 pounds and measures just 0.71 inches at its thickest point. Users do have to pay a pretty penny for all these perks, though; Lenovo sells the XI Carbon Ultrabook for $1,399.

Lava Xolo X900

The Lava Xolo x900 smartphone, available only in India, became the world's first Intel-powered smartphone when it launched in April. It was also one of the few smartphones on display at IDF.

The Xolo x900 runs an Android Gingerbread OS, although Intel has said an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich will roll out shortly. Its Atom Z2460 "Medfield" processor lets it reach speeds up to 1GHz, and its 4-inch display can host 1,080-pixel HD video playback. Most notably, though, it represents Intel's new aim to take on rival chip maker ARM for a slice of the lucrative smartphone market.

"As we enter the India market with our first smartphone from Lava, the device not only showcases the rich capabilities and user benefits of Intel computing, but also highlights the exciting possibilities of what’s still to come," said Mike Bell, general manager of Intel's Mobile Communications Group, when the phone was unveiled.

NEC LaVie Ultrabook

All PC makers claim their Ultrabooks are thin and light, but NEC really raised the bar with its LaVie Z. One of the lightest Ultrabooks showcased at IDF 2012, the NEC LaVie Z weighs in at super-light 1.93 pounds and measures just 0.59 inches thin. But don't let its ultra-slender design fool you; this little guy still packs in a 1.9GHz Ivy Bridge Core i7 CPU, 4 GB of RAM and plenty of screen real estate with a 13.3-inch display.

There's no word from NEC on U.S. availability or pricing, but the LaVie Z sells today for about $1,600 in Japan.

HP Spectre XT Ultrabook

The touch-enabled Spectre XT is one of several Windows 8 PCs expected to launch from HP later this year, and it is also the first-ever notebook from HP to run Intel's Thunderbolt I/O technology, meaning it can transfer music, movies and other data to external devices at super-fast speeds.

The Spectre XT won't be the lightest or thinnest Ultrabook on the shelves -- it measures 0.7 inches and weighs 4.77 pounds -- but it boast a design that's been optimized for the Windows 8 touch-screen experience with edge-to-edge glass and HP's Imagepad technology for more precise multifinger and gesture navigation.

The new Spectre XT is set to launch in December for $1,399.99.

Toshiba Satellite U845W Ultrabook

Toshiba designed its Satellite U845W Ultrabook to be a movie lover's dream, arming it with a 14.4-inch ultrawide HD display and built-in stereo speakers that make it as close to a portable cinema as a PC can get. The extra screen real estate will benefit multitaskers just as much as it does movie buffs, providing plenty of room for split-screen viewing of Office apps.

On the inside, the U845W runs an Intel Ivy Bridge processor and has 8 GB of DDR3 memory. Toshiba officially launched the device in July for $1,000 running Windows 7, but buyers can upgrade to Windows 8 for an additional $14.99 when the new OS launches this October.

Lenovo K800

The first smartphone from Lenovo to be fueled by an Intel Atom chip, the K800 is available today in China for around $524. It has a 4.5-inch screen, 1 GB of RAM and runs an Android 2.3.7 OS. Both a front- and rear-facing camera are included, and it can reach speeds up to 1.6GHz with its 32nm Atom processor.

Its specs may fall short compared to those touted by Apple's new iPhone 5, but the K800 is somewhat of a milestone for both Intel and Lenovo, both of which are just starting to tap into the smartphone market, using this device to pave the way.

Asus Vivo Tab

Asus in August took the wraps off its Windows 8-based Vivo Tab, a convertible PC whose claim to fame is being one of the first NFC-enabled notebooks on the market. It has an 11.6-inch display that can detach from its keyboard and be used as a tablet, complete with 10-point multitouch technology.

In addition to having NFC, the Vivo Tab is also one of the first convertible PCs out of the gate to run Intel's next-generation Clover Trail processor. Asus has not disclosed pricing or availability just yet.

Acer Iconia Tab W510

The Iconia Tab W510 is Acer's flagship hybrid PC based on Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 OS. Unlike most convertibles, which tend to boast two different form factors -- a tablet or a clamshell -- the Iconia Tab W510 has what Acer calls "tri-mode" functionality, offering a third usage model called "presentation mode." Ideal for watching movies or reading, this third form factor comes to life when users bend the top screen backward and prop it up on its detachable keyboard.

Pricing and availability details aren't available yet, but if Acer follows the suit of several of its OEM rivals, the new device could be coming this October, at the launch of Windows 8.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2

The ThinkPad Tablet 2 is Lenovo's debut Windows 8 offering. It's a 10.1-inch tablet running on an Intel Atom processor and weighs in at just under 1.3 pounds, making it lighter than both Microsoft's Surface tablet and Apple's new iPad. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 is poised to become the de facto tablet of choice for enterprise users when it launches in October; it has a full-sized USB port to attach to other in-office devices like monitors or printers and has biometrically stored passwords and an optional fingerprint scanner for extra security.

Lenovo has not specified a price for the new device, but it told CRN in August that it plans to make it competitive.