There’s an interesting story developing out of an investor call that Microsoft held yesterday.
We’ve discussed 7-inch Windows 8 tablets before, confirmed they are technically possible, analysed the market for them and we came out positive but it takes more than just a small set of potential customers to make a product. Microsoft say they’re “set up” for 7” Tablets so it’s really up to the manufacturers now. 7-inch Windows 8 Tablets could be on the way.
I’ve posted a detailed review of the ASUS UX21 over at Ultrabooknews and even if you think the device is too big, I encourage you to read the article to learn about the platform and it’s differences to Oaktrail, Cedar Trail and other low-power platforms. The UX21 idles down well and gets things done so fast that the total battery used for tasks is, in many cases, less than on a low-power platform. The effect is known as ‘HUGI’ by Intel – Hurry Up Get Idle – and it seems to work.
The platform provides a high dynamic range of operating modes from simple web-based work in a netbook-like 8W power to gaming and video editing to a quality that you would never achieve on an Atom-based platform.
It’s interesting to think of where this could lead to. Will Atom-based devices just dissolve into a low-cost category? Will there be an interesting option for ‘Ultraslates’ in the future? Could Intel create an even more efficient, smaller and small platform based on their leading technologies. My feeling is ‘Yes’ and I talked about it in an article earlier this year.
I suggest reading the UX21 article though for more details and proof that there are some Ultra Mobile possibilities with the high-end mobile computing platforms.
You’ve seen the hands-on video and the blinding speeds of the CPU and disk of the Samsung Slate PC but you still might be hungry for more. I am! The Samsung Series 7 Slate PC is a seriously impressive bit of engineering and proof that Core i5 can be designed into a chassis of under 900gm. The Slate PC will come with dock and keyboard for an estimated 1100 Euro entry-level price. It’s basically an Ultrabook without a keyboard but for many, this modular approach with attention to pen and finger touch details could be exactly what they’ve been looking for. I’m certainly taking a closer look at this one myself and hope to have a review device as soon as it’s available.
The Windows Tablet PC reputation never really earned anything through the cheap netbook-based versions that hit the market over the last few years. Low power processors, lack of docking stations and capacitive touch layers that prevent anyone from taking advantage of the natural input features. The Samsung Series 7 Slate should fix that!
It’s the first Sandy Bridge (2nd generation Core i5) tablet PC I’ve ever tried and wow, she flies. The digitiser works well and the Slate will be delivered with a dock and keyboard as part of the package. It weighs less than a kilo and Samsung tell me it will return up to 7hrs battery life. Ok, lets take the 30% ‘marketing markup’ off that and call it 5hrs. That’s usable although I know from my work with Ultrabooks that you can easily get carried away and kill the battery in half that time.
I like it a lot, just like I like Ultrabooks a lot. They fit in nicely above consumer tablet and smartphone usage scenarios that are eating into the reasons you might buy a netbook and they truly negate the need for a desktop. This mobile/desktop usage scenario certainly helps to justify the price which, as can be expected, is going to around the same 1000-1100 € or $ level as Ultrabooks.