Intel’s North Cape: long-lasting, unique full-HD screen-detaching reference for Haswell chips

CES 2013 Las Vegas — Intel showed off its fourth-generation Haswell processors and, together with its North Cape reference hybrid computer design, the company is demonstrating what is possible with the new line of CPUs.

This detachable Ultrabook is the first one to use Intel’s Haswell 4th Gen processors that the company is introducing this year. One of its nifty features is that by pressing the button in the upper right-hand corner of the keyboard, it has a special electromagnetic hinge — a patent pending device — that let you pull-off the screen, because it’s also a 10mm thick Windows 8 tablet, and Intel spent a lot of time working on making it this easy to detach the tablet from the base.

Another trick of its own is a technology called “Smart-Frame”, which allows you to shrink down the very responsive, 10-point multitouch, 13.6-inch (1920×1080 pixels) screen to a 11.6-inch instead, giving you a great big-black bezel to put your hands on (keeping the 1080p resolution) when you are carrying it around and using it as a tablet, that way fingers don’t start mucking the screen.

However, if you don’t like this mode, you can always press a button in the top-left-edge-side of the screen to go back to full-screen mode. When you dock it back to the keyboard base, it automatically expands back to its original 13.6-inch screen size.

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This hybrid concept has an additional battery in the keyboard for extra power, and with its design that consumes less than 10 watts, users can expect an impressive 13 hours of battery life (theoretically speaking).

The keyboard has a soft-touch material and seems pretty rigid, even though it’s only 7mm thick, and when you add it all up this detachable Windows 8 tablet is only 17mm thick. It also features 2 USB 3.0 ports, a mini-HDMI out and power port in the back, audio ports in the side, a rear 5-megapixel and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera.

The North Cape reference design is expected to be available later this year. The 1.8 pounds Ultrabook will be a device very interesting to see in the market, because what you have here is something unique and really compelling in terms of how the screen detach, its ergonomic quality keyboard design, the great colors, and the responsiveness of the display.

Technical specs

At a glance 
Processor4th Gen Haswell
Operating SystemWindows 8
Display13.6-inch (and shrinks to 11.6-inch)
Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels
Touch Supprot10-Point multi-touch
Aspect Ratio16:9
Hard DriveNot Yet announced
RAMNot Yet announced
Display Outputmini-HDMI out
CameraRear 5-megapixel and front-facing 2-megapixel
Weight1.8 pounds
USB2 USB 3.0 ports
BatteryUp to 13 hours with the extra pack built-in the keyboard

This is a reference design that Intel intends to give other manufactures new ideas, and hopefully we’ll see even more and better devices taking advantage of Haswell processors that allows this level of thin, light, and great battery life.