intel skylake
Intel took the wraps off its new Skylake processors at the IFA conference. The chips promise better battery life and faster performance. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Intel unveiled on Monday almost 50 different processors that make up the Skylake processor family, promising a whole new range of Windows-powered devices never before possible. Intel took the wraps off its newest processor family at the IFA electronics show in Berlin, with over 800 new systems launching globally from next Wednesday.

The upgrades will make even thinner tablets possible, as the power-sipping Skylake depends less on a bulky battery to make it through the day. Skylake, along with Windows 10 and Thunderbolt 3.0, were described by Bob O’Donnell of Techpinions as leading to “the best performing PCs we’ve seen.” Skylake will support blisteringly-fast DDR4 RAM, while Thunderbolt 3.0 will support daisy-chained 4K displays, working through reversible USB-C ports. All these improvements, combined with a new operating system that supports multiple forms of input, will boost the 2-in-1 tablet market dramatically.

The updated range also includes new Core M processors, which Intel will be using to power a new version of its Compute Stick, dropping the Atom processor. The new processors are 10 to 20 percent faster than their last-gen counterparts, meaning the ultra-small computer will compete better than ever before with traditional desktop machines. Intel has delivered a computer that can be plugged into any TV with HDMI, synced up with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and immediately offer a full desktop experience.

“6th Gen Intel Core processors deliver some of the most significant advancements in computing that we've ever seen,” said Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's client computing group, in a statement. “The combination of 6th Gen Intel Core processors, Windows 10 and beautiful new systems from PC manufacturers make this the best time ever to buy a new computer.”

It's also good news on the Mac side. The Core M is what Apple uses in its ultra-thin “new MacBook” model, and a performance boost will be good news for those holding out from buying the first model. Apple has depended on Intel delivering Skylake to provide a bigger performance boost to its MacBook upgrades. The last upgrade to the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro added Force Touch but stuck with the Haswell range, which at this point is feeling a bit long in the tooth. Skylake, with higher performance and better battery life, will greatly improve Apple’s lineup.