The eye-popping Nikiski wasn’t the only new form factor that Intel explored in its CES press conference. It also showed off an Ultrabook design called the Slider that’s not unlike a few of the smartphones and tablets we’ve seen in the last few years. Like a QWERTY smartphone, it hides a full keyboard beneath a sliding screen, running on standard x86 hardware and low-voltage chips.
The design on display is fully functional, and Intel hopes that its OEM partners will utilize it to explore more options for making “laptops” smaller and lighter. Specifications weren’t available, but it looks like a 12 or 13 inch display, and the keyboard section accomodates a nearly full-sizek keyboard for comfortable typing. Useers can also hold it tablet-style and thumb type.
The whole concept device looks and feels a lot like the Asus Eee Pad Slider, which uses a similar mechanism. It isn’t significantly smaller or lighter than other ultrabooks on display, so the only real advantage is the tablet-style form factor, which may become more popular as Windows 8 and its touch-friendly features arrive. Look for more interesting designs beyond the standard clamshell to appear in the next 6-12 months.