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Laptop technology has come a long way in the past decade or so, but sales of mobile phones and tablets are leaving PCs in the dust. Part of that has to do with battery life; because they use more powerful hardware, laptops simply can’t compete with longer-lasting tablet batteries. But Intel is preparing to release a new generation of Core processors, known as Haswell, that will help to bridge the gap, giving laptops 50 percent more battery life. That will enable travelers to watch up to three HD movies on a laptop before the battery conks out.

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The new Haswell chips were designed with tablets in mind, explains Agam Shah at PC World; computer makers are expected to use the technology to make hybrid laptop-tablet devices with detachable screens for a more versatile user experience. The best thing about the chips is that they’ll reportedly boost battery life by 50 percent without sacrificing performance. Intel also says the chips will offer double the graphics performance in laptops.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that the new Haswell chips will bring the “largest generation-to-generation improvement in battery life in Intel history.” The chips will achieve extended battery life with a feature called “power gating,” which can adjust power consumption in different parts of the chip to conserve overall power use. And in standby mode, the chips will perform even better, using 20 times less power than previous chips. Intel is expected to officially launch the new chips at the Computex trade show in Taipei next month.

Via Dvice, PC World and Venture Beat