Just how long have we been waiting for a low-power productive computing platform and an operation system built to go with it? Atom has been around (largely unchanged in itâ€™s CPU architecture) for many years but weâ€™ve been through Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 before the OS finally matured to support touch, pen and mouse computing. UMPCâ€™s wonâ€™t be coming soon but if the convertible Windows 8 devices do well, thereâ€™s a chance that the screen-sizes will drop.
Last week at IDF I took a look at a few of the convertibles and spent a lot of time learning about the platform and analyzing what could be possible.
Videos â€“ Asus, HP . Acer coming too.
This is my favorite of the Atom-based removable tablet designs.
Another good design. This one has the HDMI on the keyboard dock.
Key features of CloverTrail / Windows 8 tablets
The Z2570 dual-core design uses a similar CPU architecture to previous Atoms. We shouldnâ€™t expect too much more performance although the â€˜turboâ€™ to 1.8Ghz and dual-core architecture should be enough to make most people happy. The key here is power and AOAC/Windows 8 Connected Standby. The new architecture has new S0ix power states and combined with new features in Windows 8 should dramatically reduce the idle power, and thus, the average system power.
Windows 8 will also support sensors in itâ€™s Windows 8 Metro applications, thereâ€™s NFC support and a number of media enhancements. 1080p 30 FPS video encoding is supported (weâ€™re not sure if this is exposed in the Intel Media SDK) and thereâ€™s a image processing unit too.Â Audio can be offloaded to a hardware unit by Windows 8 Metro apps.
Expect 10+hrs battery life with multi-day online standby!
Having tested the tablets available at IDF this week Iâ€™m very interested in the platform. Iâ€™ve never been a 11.6â€ tablet fan so a non-removable screen (in the netbook style) is something Iâ€™ll be looking out for but Iâ€™ll also be expecting to see 10â€ and smaller tablets coming out. I estimate that CloverTrail could support a 7â€ Windows 8 design.