Intel last Tuesday announced over 20 design wins from OEMs and ODMs for its "Clover Trail" hybrid tablet/notebook platform and it's easy to see why. I recently explained why Windows 8 and Clover Trail will be an iPad killer. Intel confirmed for me the next day that Clover Trail will indeed have the killer feature of always-on computing.
By contrast, Clover Trail devices can remain on and connected to the network, which Intel calls "connected standby". And based on these Intel IDF slides, Clover Trail can remain on for approximately 30 days. Always-on computing will eliminate the despised boot process, and the extended battery life will eliminate the need for bulky AC adapter bricks and power cords.
The Chromebook, on the other hand, must be shut down and rebooted or suspended and awakened like a traditional notebook computer. It doesn't listen or respond to the network when another computer is calling it on Skype or any other application. The Chromebook and notebooks also typically offer less than half of the 10 hours one can expect from an iPad. Clover Trail not only will match the iPad's battery life, but it can nearly double it when the tablet is connected to the base which includes a variable-angle stand, a screen cover, an auxiliary battery, a keyboard, a trackpad, and possibly more storage and connectivity options.
Forrester predicted in April that iPads will become our primary computing devices. That prediction was based on the assumption that the iPad will maintain its lead in always-on capability and battery life. And that assumption was shockingly wrong, given how long analysts had known about Intel's x86 mobility plans. PCs are on the verge of surpassing the iPad in battery life and always-on capability and they are poised to solve the keyboard/cover problem better than any iPad accessory ever did.