Today, Intel showed off a reference design codenamed Llama Mountain, which is an incredibly thin tablet running Intel's Core M 5Y70. While we've covered Core M previously it's worth going over again for those unfamiliar with this chip. For reference, it's the first shipping implementation of Broadwell and designed to target a 4.5W TDP. This means that it's fully possible to integrate a full Windows PC into a thin, fanless formfactor. We've already seen the announcement of the ThinkPad Helix 2 with Core M, so it's clear that this new chip can support such formfactors.

One of the biggest surprises for me was how much smaller the PCB was in Llama Mountain. For reference, the photo above is from our Surface Pro teardown. The PCB takes up almost the entirety of the tablet, and there's a great deal of extra thickness from the fans in the device. I managed to get a photo of the entire Llama Mountain board below. The second green PCB contains the storage (a SanDisk iSSD solution) and a WiFi chip (Intel 7260AC).

The resulting tablet is incredibly light at 684 grams. For reference, the iPad Air is 469 grams. Of course, the real question is whether the extra ~200 grams is worth it. To get an idea of whether or not it is, Intel showed the performance of Llama Mountain in Sunspider 1.0.2 and 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited. I've put the results into the graphs below.

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall

SunSpider 1.0.2 Benchmark  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Needless to say, the Core M 5Y70 is the fastest tablet that we have test results for. The Surface Pro line has 15W TDP parts, while Core M operates in a 4.5W TDP. However, for this reference design Intel is leveraging the large amount of surface area to drive a 6W TDP. Despite this, it seems that it manages to equal or better the Surface Pro line in performance. Intel also emphasized that only an aluminum back cover would be needed to dissipate the heat to keep costs down. In fact, there were versions of Llama Mountain with copper and gold-plated back covers, but had no noticeable effect in performance. I'm definitely looking forward to future tablets and 2-in-1 devices launching with this chip, as this could enable laptop levels of performance in a tablet formfactor without the compromise we see now.



View All Comments

  • Wilco1 - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    Indeed. And at a far lower frequency as well. Look, another flying pig!

    This is why one shouldn't rely on cheated SunSpider scores for benchmarks...
  • Alexey291 - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    Especially since the sunspider benchmarks seem to have been run on different browsers. Welp Reply
  • kron123456789 - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    It's possible, but this chip costs $281. There won't be ~$300 tablets with that chip, only $800-$1000. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    Goddamn, this really whips the Llama's ass! Reply
  • Pissedoffyouth - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    I created this account to say that you had me in tears with that comment. Good old winamp.

    Anandtech writers - thank you so much for covering these chips in depth - as a current T100 owner who loves the fact that it's silent I watch with great interest. Good work!
  • thepaleobiker - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    "throws money at screen. Nothing happens"

    Wow. I might actually be tempted into buying my first tablet, if this can truly be the level of performace in a $300 1080p mobile device running Win 8.x . Pretty sweet!
  • liahos1 - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    i think these are for the premium tablet, 2-1, and fanless laptop market. pricing probably around 600 for tablets w/ windows Reply
  • fokka - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    considering the cpu alone is said to cost around 280$ i'd say it's unlikely we'll see a 300$ core-m tablet anytime soon.

    but if you want cheap you can look into atom, those things aren't the bottlenecks they were in the netbook days either anymore.
  • name99 - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    Given that the chip costs $281, good luck with that $300 tablet dream... Reply
  • Theodore41 - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    OK,but I prefer to give the €600.00 for this,instead of switching to a iPad Air 2,from the Air I now have... Reply

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