Are you in the market for a new PC, and considering the new slimmer, sleeker line of ultrabooks? If so, put your wallet away. Wait for ultrabooks to hit the street armed with the new Intel Ivy Bridge processors.
Intel has unveiled the lineup of new quad-core Ivy Bridge processors aimed at desktops and high-end laptops. However, the dual-core Ivy Bridge chips designed for ultrabooks are not available yet. According to one Intel exec, the first Ivy Bridge ultrabook will launch in about six weeks on June 5.
It would be foolish to buy an ultrabook right now, knowing that the Ivy Bridge models will be arriving soon. Ivy Bridge is expected to deliver better performance, and operate more efficiently to extend battery life at the same time.
The Ivy Bridge processors are the first of the new, smaller 22nm chips. They’re also the first to use Intel’s 3D transistors that deliver a theoretical performance boost of 37 percent over traditional two-dimensional transistors. PCWorld Labs testing of the Ivy Bridge processor found a real-world boost closer to 10 percent--but, again, that boost comes with lower power consumption and longer batter life as well.
While the first Ivy Bridge ultrabook should be available in early June, there will be many to follow. Unless you’re desperate for a new system now, I wouldn’t recommend running out to buy the first Ivy Bridge ultrabook that comes along.
Intel has already revealed that there are 75 ultrabook models currently in development, and some portion of those will be built on Ivy Bridge. Why invest in an HP Folio 14 or Dell XPS 13 ultrabook now, when there is a very high likelihood that HP and Dell will have equivalent Ivy Bridge models available right around the corner?
Intel has also said it expects ultrabook pricing to come down to the $699 range by the back-to-school shopping season which is only a few months away. Even if the features and capabilities of the existing crop of ultrabooks is good enough for you, the price of many models will drop as the Ivy Bridge ultrabooks hit the shelves.
Whether you want the faster, more power efficient Ivy Bridge models, or you just want to save a few bucks on a non-Ivy Bridge ultrabook, it makes sense to be patient and wait until August or September for the ultrabook dust to settle some.