Looking to upgrade the laptops in your small and mid-sized business? It’s not often I give such advice, but it may be a good idea to hold your upgrade for the next couple of months, at least.
This is due to a number of upcoming developments that should result in the arrival of more powerful desktop PCs, as well as laptops with greater battery life. Here’s what to expect.
Haswell will offer significantly improved battery life
Intel is expected to unveil the fourth generation of its Core microprocessors at Computex this week. Codenamed Haswell, it will not only offer the expected performance bump inherent to a new processor, but will also be significantly more efficient in its power utilization.
Indeed, Intel has said that Haswell will offer 50 percent more battery life in laptops than its current Ivy Bridge processors. Given that the processor consumes the lion’s share of power in a laptop, expect to see Haswell-powered laptops sporting a noticeably better battery life in the near future.
More powerful graphics capabilities
Aside from being more powerful and energy efficient, Haswell is also expected to bring much better graphics processing capabilities to the table. Though this has yet to be tested and validated by independent testers, Intel has gone on the record as saying that Haswell has double the graphics performance for laptops, and triple that for desktop machines.
A less-often mentioned but important feature is the new processor’s support for the new DisplayPort 1.2 standard. With twice the video bandwidth, DisplayPort 1.2 makes it possible for compatible DisplayPort monitors to be daisy chained for easier multi-monitor deployments.
Windows 8.1 arriving soon
Finally, the upcoming upgrade to Windows 8 is slated for release as a public preview at the Microsoft Build developer conference in June. Known officially as “Windows 8.1,” the free update is expected to address various complaints that have plagued Microsoft’s latest operating system since its release late last year.
And yes, it does appear from recent reports that the Start button will be making a comeback in Windows 8.1, and users will also be able to boot directly into the desktop. With other tweaks, Windows 8.1 should eliminate major bugbears and make it far more usable for users familiar with the Windows operating system.
With the imminent arrival of Haswell and Windows 8.1, it certainly makes sense to wait a few more months to buy a new PC. Even if you cannot wait for the arrival of Windows 8.1, do at least try to get a Haswell-powered PC or laptop.