The Windows 8 tablet is one of those concepts that's firing up a lot of interest as, for perhaps the first time, Windows is going to war with Apple (News - Alert) on the tablet battlefield and bringing plenty of big names along for the ride. Nowhere is that more evident than in the guest list of an event Intel has planned for September 27, which will feature such as attendees as Hewlett-Packard (News - Alert) and Samsung.
The tablet event is geared to show off a lineup of products like HP's Envy x2 "convertible laptop," all products that boast Intel's (News - Alert) "Clover Trail" Z2760 processor. The Clover Trail processor is also referred to as an SoC, or System on a Chip, processor due to its ability to contain most of the functions of a complete computer system located on just one small chip, giving rise to a line of very small hardware thanks to the reduced need for internal components.
The event will be hosted at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art by Erik Reid, Intel's general manager of Application Processor Platforms, part of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group. Also set to join in are Acer, Asus, Dell (News - Alert), Lenovo, ZTE, and the earlier mentioned HP and Samsung. Devices powered by Clover Trail will be able to run nearly anything that a laptop running Windows 7 can, which is a step up from tablets running Windows RT, as they can't run earlier Windows software.
This is where things get a bit interesting. Even just looking at the design of the HP Envy x2 provides some interesting new concepts, like a touchscreen tablet that comes with a keyboard and trackpad that can be removed and reattached at any time. This clears up one of the primary issues of working with a touchscreen display: word processing. Since the keyboard functions normally, it takes away the idea of either using a touchscreen's keyboard, which can often be cumbersome and unpleasant, or buying an add-on peripheral to provide the desired function.
The end result is a line of tablets that may well have sufficient specs to compete with the iPad line, but also have sufficient differentiation to make them viable competitors for the iPad, even if they're priced similarly. Only time will tell just how well these work out, but the Intel chipset may well have provided the necessary boost to give Windows a shot at the tablet market in its own right.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Rich Steeves