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Windows 8 tablets

HP Unveils Android-Powered SlateBook x2 and Windows 8-Based Split x2 Tablet/Laptop Hybrids

Say, do you remember that mystery HP SlateBook 10 X2 that leaked out courtesy of a fairly suspicious benchmark a little while ago? Well, as it turns out, the thing is real and coming our way very soon, only it’s not going to be alone.

Instead, there will also be a gizmo called Split x2, with the duo targeting both Android and Windows enthusiasts. But what exactly are these crazy little things? At first glance, you might be fooled in calling them run-of-the-mill laptops.

HP_Slatebook_x2

Only their screens are detachable (or the keyboard docks, depending on how you look at them), meaning you can either use the SlateBook x2 and Split x2 as notebooks or as tablets. The concept is not exactly groundbreaking, as the word “hybrid” has entered our tech vocabulary a while ago, but what HP seems to have up its sleeve is a never before seen quality-price ratio.

At least as far as the SlateBook is concerned, we’re very much wondering if HP isn’t manufacturing the tab/laptop at a loss. Then again, with the company’s first attempt at garnering attention in the Android décor, the Slate 7, failing with flying colors, a gamble was to be expected.

Set to go on sale sometime in August, the SlateBook x2 will cost a mere $479.99 with the keyboard dock included. That’s about as much as a high-end-ish slate used to go for a year or so ago without any kind of transforming accessories to go, but the even more amazing thing about the SlateBook is it’s not high-end-ish.

It’s actually ready to capture the crown for the most technically impressive Android slate, as it’s going to be powered by Nvidia’s spanking new Tegra 4 platform. The explosive quad-core processor has only flexed its muscles in a few benchmarks so far, but that’s been enough to put Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 CPU to shame.

There will also be 2 gigs of RAM to go nicely with the Tegra 4 inside HP’s hybrid, plus Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and a pretty impressive 10.2-inch IPS panel with 1,920 x 1,200 pixels resolution. The 16 GB of on-board storage might not sound all that great, but you will be able to expand that via the tab’s microSD slot or through the dock’s full-sized SD slot.

The docking station will also come with an HDMI port and a much needed battery boost, as the actual tab will apparently only be able to run for a modest four hours on a single charge.

HP_Split_x2

Moving on to Windows aficionados, these will likely be a little disappointed with the Split x2. Not only is the thing a tad pricey, at $799.99 with the keyboard dock, but it’s also fairly low-end by certain standards, sporting a meager 13.3-inch display with 1,366 x 768 pix res and packing an Intel Core i3 processor.

Still, there’s a whopping 500 GB of storage, on-board Windows 8, 4 GB of RAM and a far more impressive battery than on the SlateBook, so all in all the Split x2 might be the better machine of the duo, at least when used as a notebook. I think now would be the right time to say HP still has it, right?

Via [The Verge]

Windows RT tablets to undercut Win 8 tablets by over $300 says Lenovo

Desktop processor manufacturers like Intel and AMD have little to no market share in the mobile segment. The whole of tablet segment is conquered by ARM based devices, thanks to ARM’s 290 semiconductor vendors who license its technology in order to address the needs of various segments of device. Intel did create mobile platforms such as the fairly recent low power Atom processor, also popular as Intel Medfield. The mobile Medfield Atom processors are implemented in Intel AZ210 which is currently being marketed by Lava, Orange and Lenovo in India, UK and China respectively.

Intel actually ported Android operating system to x86 in order to bring support for Medfield processor, however, it has been recently working on a next gen Atom processor, codenamed as Clover Trail, which will be exclusively used with upcoming Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft, Intel’s quickest option to get into the tablet market, however, Microsoft’s announcement of Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 which will run on ARM based systems, has been a bad news for Intel as it has to stand against ARM based devices. Now, it seems like the competition just got tougher for Intel.

Lenovo has predicted that ARM based Windows RT tablets will carry a price tag that will be $300 lesser than those running Windows 8. Microsoft’s Windows RT is nothing but Windows 8 adapted to run on ARM based systems and Microsoft will be using Windows RT on its own Surface tablet. It should be noted that Lenovo was among Microsoft’s Windows RT launch partners.

“RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points,” said David Schmoock, head of Lenovo’s North America operations. “It will do well but it’s going to be more of a consumer price point play to begin with,” he said, in an interview today.

According to Lenovo, Windows 8 tablets will be costing somewhere around $600 and $700, so going by Lenovo’s claims, the ARM based tablets booting Windows RT should be costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $400, which places it directly in the segment which has been largely dominated by Android based tablets.

This news should be a nightmare for both, AMD and Intel as they were planning to use Windows 8 as a wormhole to get into the mobile market. $300 is definitely a significant amount to discourage buyers from choosing Intel based Windows 8 tablets, and customers will obviously choose for ARM based tablets as people will go for anything that is cheap and free. Quality matters for sure, but I don’t think companies like Lenovo will compromise on that front either.

The only strength of Windows 8 compared to Windows RT is its application compatibility, but again, Apple’s iPad has testified the fact that compatibility of existing application is not required in order to generate huge sales figure.

Apart from this disappointing news, Intel has got more bad news too. Intel has been trying to push Ultrabook brand of notebooks which aim at delivering more attractive devices to consumers with thinner and lighter designs. Intel had projected that ultrabook branded laptop devices would capture 40 percent of the consumer laptop market in 2012, but according to Schmoock, that figure is more likely to be between 20 and 25 percent.

“It’s going to require a very strong first couple of weeks of launch of Win 8,” said Schmoock. “They’ll be a lot bigger than they are now. I don’t know if it will get all the way up to 40 percent.” Intel has always been known for setting ambitious targets. If words of Schmoock turn out to be true, AMD and Intel won’t be able to seek the year-end sales boost that they were hoping Windows 8 would fetch for them.

If ever you have planned to buy a Windows tablet device later this year, would you buy Windows 8 tablet or settle for the economical ARM based Windows RT tablet? Connect with us using the comment form below.

Company profile: Lenovo Group Limited is a Chinese multinational information technology and electronics company co-headquartered in Beijing, Singapore and Morrisville, North Carolina. It manufactures variety of products including personal computers, portable devices such as tablet computers and servers, electronic storage, mobile phones, workstations, and IT management software. According to 2011 market share, Lenovo happens to be world’s second largest PC vendors (Hewlett-Packard is the largest PC vendor). The company is very popular for ThinkPad line of notebook computers and the ThinkCentre line of desktops (these systems were originally manufactured by IBM, however, Lenovo acquired IBM’s personal computer division back in 2005).

via Bloomberg

Windows 8 Tablets by HP, Acer, and Lenovo Coming Soon

Amongst the many expected to release Windows 8 tablets, incorporating the latest Intel technology system on a chip are Hewlett-Packard, Acer, and Lenovo. A source close to the manufacturers report that HP and Acer are beavering away working on their designs, whilst rumors abound in details leaked today that Lenovo are developing the ThinkPad Tablet 2, which is expected to incorporate Intel’s Clover Trail system-on-a-chip (SoC).

So what do they offer? Well unlike the Windows RT tablets that will use ARM chips; these Intel-based Windows 8 designs are distinctly different. Whilst the Window RT devices use a version of Windows 8 that does not offer backward compatibility with the pre-existing millions of Windows software programs, the Intel-based systems will offer that compatibility.

The tablets are expected to hit store shelves as soon as 26 October. The traditional desktop is likely to still be around for those times you need Photoshop, Microsoft Office and other full featured PC programs.

The burning question for most users is what the Windows Store Catalog will be like. The news is that developers can now submit their apps to Microsoft for inclusion in the Windows store, this being the sole source of apps on Windows 8 PCs and tablets, though at this stage it’s unclear how many developers are working on apps for Windows 8 and what availability there will be for users when launched in October. Whilst there is this uncertainty, Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy recently is quoted as saying that Microsoft would need at least 5,000 high quality Windows 8 apps available at launch to be a success. For users on the new ARM-based Surface tablet from Microsoft and some other devices, this is especially true as Windows RT users will be unable to add regular Windows apps to their desktop and will be reliant on the Windows Store as the only way to get new apps on the device.

Market experts are already predicting a nightmare for retailers as non-technical users get to grips with the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8 and its unclear how Microsoft and its partners will help users to differentiate between the products.

So will Windows 8 help propel Windows into the touch screen era? Windows 8 has some great advantages including east of set up, speedy boot times, more manageable printer discovery and improved multiple monitor support. However, none of that detracts from the fact this is a radical shift from the current desktop and it’s yet to be seen if this radical shift will be embraced by users or a colossal flop as seen with Vista.

Another factor is that Microsoft has yet to confirm when they intend to stop selling Windows 7. The new version removes the Start Button and introduces hot corners, multi-touch gestures, and the Windows key. For those who are pretty much used to the current operating system, these changes in some cases will take a lot of getting used to, with some not reacting well to the change. Well, we will all find out in October.

Source: https://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57484874-75/hp-acer-lenovo-eye-windows-8-tablets/