Ultrabooks have become increasingly popular in recent years. Intel’s line of premium laptop PCs has been gaining ground on competitors like the MacBook, and sales figures have been on a consistently upward trend since the first Ultrabook was released.

However, as with any product in the tech industry, companies must constantly innovate in order to keep up with the competition. With new versions of the MacBook being released soon, Intel needs to step up its game if it wants to continue to steal market share away from Apple.

Fans of the Ultrabook – and people who haven’t yet purchased one – are wondering what the next step might be for Intel. Today’s Ultrabooks already feature HD resolutions, slim form-fitting designs, and sleek interfaces. But the next generation of Ultrabooks could add even more cool features.

With the Windows 8 release date just around the corner, most tech experts are predicting that next generation Ultrabooks will feature touch-screen capabilities. The Windows 8 operating system is being designed with tablets and other touch-screen devices in mind, and if Intel wants its Ultrabooks to get the most out of Microsoft’s new operating system, it needs to add touch-screen features.

Touch-screen laptops have been released in the past, although few of them have been very popular. If Intel can pull it off with their third generation of Ultrabooks, it could represent a permanent shift in the computer industry towards devices with touch-screen capabilities.

That’s not all Intel has planned for its next generation of Ultrabooks. Recent rumors have suggested that Intel might also be looking into developing 3D displays for its Ultrabooks. A report published by DigiTimes says that third-generation Ultrabooks will feature both 3D screens and full HD resolutions.

Today’s Ultrabooks are mostly limited to the 1366×768 resolution, so moving beyond that would be a big step for manufacturers. Fitting that visual processing power inside a form fitting case could be difficult, as most full HD (1920x1080p) laptops are quite bulky.

Other features that are expected to be seen in third-generation Ultrabooks include SSDs, longer battery life, and a revamped chassis design.

For those who appreciate using fast laptop PCs, Intel looks to build off their success with this upcoming third-generation. However, don’t expect to pick up a 3D laptop anytime soon – third-generation Ultrabooks are being held back until Intel releases its Haswell platform in 2013. Until that time, fast laptops with slim casing and full 3D HD screens will just have to wait.

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