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Sep 19, 2012

Intel Windows 8 Tablets Come Next Week




Intel is getting ready for another big event that’s set for next week. The company will apparently hold a Windows 8 tablet launch party where companies like DELL, Samsung and HP will be invited to show their new devices.

We’ve reported here on Intel’s Windows 8 tablet reference design and here about the new Clover Trail dual-core processor. Windows 8 tablets will have the benefit of offering compatibility with all Windows 8 and Windows 7 programs, but users should be warned that the performance will be surprisingly modest. Intel’s Clover Trail is basically a dual-core Medfield with an improved iGPU. While the new iGPU is welcomed and absolutely necessary considering just how weak the PowerVR SGX540 on Medfield is, the x86 processing power will likely be inferior to what WindowsRT tablets will offer. For those that need a reminder, WindowsRT is exactly like Windows 8, but it is built for ARM processors and is not compatible with x86 software.

Many WindowsRT tablets will be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 or Qualcomm’s APQ8064 and how the latter is over five times faster than Intel’s 2 GHz Medfield. Sure Clover Trail will be dual-core, but that will make the Qualcomm quad-core Krait “only” two and a half times faster. Nevertheless, Clover Trail tablets will probably successfully compete with Android tablets and will benefit from their native x86 software compatibility; but price wise, we expect Windows 8 tablets to be more expensive than Android gadgets. After all, Intel’s platform will likely be more expensive than ARM implementations based on Tegra 3 or APQ8064 and Microsoft’s Windows 8 licensing fees will add even more to the overall costs of the tablet.

Windows 8 Tablet
Image credits to Microsoft

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