Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

Summary:Like it or not, the PC laptop world is becoming an Ultrabook world, and Intel is looking to expand its notebook platform's footprint big-time in the coming year. Part of its strategy is geared toward corporate buyers in the form of a new docking solution.

Like it or not, the PC laptop world is becoming an Ultrabook world, and Intel is looking to expand its notebook platform's footprint big-time in the coming year. Part of its strategy is geared toward corporate buyers in the form of a new docking solution.

Of course, laptop docking stations are nothing new, but this potential one has a major twist. According to VR-Zone, Intel is prepping a docking solution that includes support for the Thunderbolt interface, which promises super-fast transfer speeds but hasn't made a major impact since its release earlier in the year. The plans require notebook manufacturers to actually embrace Intel's proposed solution, but the chip giant has shown how persuasive it can be to get what it wants from vendors (i.e., throwing gobs of marketing money at them).

As VR-Zone points out, the emphasis on Thunderbolt suggests that Intel is trying to marginalize USB 3.0 as a connection standard, despite it being more affordable (if less impressive and less flexible). Of course, Intel gains more from promoting Thunderbolt, having developed the technology. Considering that the Thunderbolt rollout has been limited to Apple devices and a few third-party peripherals, Ultrabook docks with support for the interface could be a key way to mainstream the technology.

[Image: VR-Zone]

Topics: Intel, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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