By Claire Reilly

Intel launched the latest iteration of its Core Processor technology last night with a showcase of ultrabooks, notebooks and desktop PCs from its vendor partners, all utilising the new 3rd Generation Ivy Bridge chipset.

At the launch, the new managing director for Intel Australia and New Zealand, Kate Burleigh, spoke about what consumers would gain from the new technology, as well as the benefits that the company’s progress in innovation would bring to the retail floor, and how retailers could sell this to customers.

According to Burleigh, Intel’s engineers and marketing team found “four key areas” for improvement during the development of the Ultrabook category, based on consumer’s wants and needs: responsiveness, mobility, style and security. Intel then worked with suppliers to “shave off those all important millimetres” from the Ultrabook design, whilst still delivering on these key performance points.

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The result is a new range of products from a variety of suppliers including Toshiba, Fujitsu, Asus and Hewlett Packard, all utilising the new 3rd Generation processors, which greatly improve upon the previous generation. As an example, Burleigh noted that the new i5 processor has 22 per cent more performance than the 2nd Generation i5 processor, and 30 times faster media processing than the Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

A central question that arises, particularly on a retail level, is how to communicate the complex technology of the processors in terms of benefits to the end user. According to Burleigh, “A lot of the concepts that we’re talking about with Ultrabooks, Intel believes will become second nature to consumers within a matter of months”.

“Intel has invested a large amount of money into an advertising and marketing campaign which is running across Australia and New Zealand, and online, to make sure that we’re communicating the benefits of Ultrabook to end users,” she added.

“When you think about it, it’s not like you go out and buy an Intel technology specifically called Ultrabook. You’re buying someone else’s product, and we’ve worked hard to brand the features and benefits of that product.”

On the retail floor, Intel has opted for “good old-fashioned marketing” in the form of video, screensavers, new signage and decals. obtained some of the new signage, set to be rolled out in stores, from Intel insiders [pictured below]. While they make mention of 3rd Generation on this signage, the Intel logo remains unchanged, and there is no mention of Ivy Bridge (the name previously used to denote the technology).

When asked whether this would confuse consumers, Burleigh said the was confident in Intel’s stragegy.

“The logo we’re going to keep the same – so still Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 and the same branding strategy,” added Burleigh. “However, we’ve created some clings that will call out the new 3rd Generation for our retail partners to use.”

“We’re doing lots of training and education around that, but what we really didn’t want to do was confuse the marketplace by adding ‘3rd Generation” onto the badge as well. We’ll be encouraging suppliers to encourage people to look out for 3rd Generation versus 2nd Generation, because if people want 3rd Generation they want to make sure they get it and don’t get tripped up by the badges.

“The retailers in Australia have been very good around Ultrabook and calling out the different category. They love it when there are new technology transitions that come along, so they certainly won’t be shy in calling out 3rd Generation versus 2nd Generation,” she said.

Ultimately, the best selling tool would be getting hands on with the product.

“The biggest thing we’re training on in retail is we’re saying to retailers, ‘Take the products off security and put them in someone’s hands, because people need to touch and feel the product to understand the difference – especially the weight.”

General manager of Intel ANZ, Kate Burleigh, shows off a Fujitsu Ultrabook.

New screen wraparounds like this one will be rolled out to promote the technology.