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Hardware: Is There a Reason to Upgrade?


As fall begins, computer manufacturers hope their new hybrid tablet PCs are powerful enough to move consumers and business.

At least two new product introductions common to the non-Apple computing world are forcing this redesign of the basic black or silver box that is the computer. The producers of both these products have the deep pockets to make sure everybody hears about it many times a day from now through the holiday season:
  1. Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 is about to be released for new devices, portable or desktop. The operating system has been thoroughly (if belatedly) redesigned from the ground up for a mobile world, with dual capabilities for touchscreen or keyboard use.
  2. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is producing new and more powerful chips for a category it has trade-named the "ultrabook," which is intended to suggest laptop speed and power with a notebook's smaller size and weight. Intel is by no means the only chipmaker working on that, but it owns the "ultrabook" tag, and the company is working to make it synonymous with light and speedy.
On and around the official late-October launch of Windows 8, more than 30 new devices for it, many carrying the "ultrabook" logo, will be introduced by computer makers including Acer, Asus, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Lenovo, Samsung, Sony (NYSE:SNE), and Toshiba. An Irish blogger is keeping track online.

These devices include laptops that convert to tablets as well as desktops with a touchscreen option, plus some products that throw in motion control and/or voice command capabilities.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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