Intel Ups Its Presence In Tablets With New Chip

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Intel Atom LogoSeemingly in response to the overwhelming number of tablets powered by ARM chipsets, Intel announced that it has begun to ship a new processor designed specifically for tablets.

The Atom Z670, previously known as Oak Trail, will be featured in tablets from Lenovo and Fujitsu (among others) and provides improved video playback up to 1080p, as well as improved battery life. The chip will also be physically smaller than previous Z series Atom chips, sporting a 60 percent size reduction in the “die”, the raw piece of silicon that contains the integrated circuits. This will, in turn, allow for thinner and more compact tablet designs. The chipset also provides some flexibility, as it is capable of running various operating systems, including Google Android, MeeGo, and Windows.

Other companies aside from Lenovo and Fujitsu that will be using the new Atom Z670 in their tablets include Motion Computing, Razer, and Viliv. While Motion Computing and Viliv have both announced tablets that will be available later this year, Razer’s usage of the Z670 is currently limited to its concept device known as the Switchblade, a sort of portable handheld gaming computer. We have, however, had the opportunity to get some face time with some of the other upcoming tablets to feature the Intel processors, including Fujitsu’s currently unnamed Windows 7 slate, which was being shown off at CES.

Lenovo Windows 7 SlateLenovo, meanwhile, has two Windows-based tablets on the way, both powered by Intel processors. Both tablets, the IdeaPad U1 and an unnamed Windows 7 slate, were on display at CES, where we got to spend a little time with the devices. When sold solely as a tablet, the IdeaPad U1 will be known as the LePad and will run Google Android OS. But when bought with the keyboard base, it becomes the IdeaPad U1 and will switch to Windows OS when docked. While little is known about the other, 100% Windows 7-based slate, it will supposedly be intended for business users.

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