Microsoft Sheds More Light on Windows RT Tablets

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In a recent blog post discussing the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows 8, Microsoft has clarified that the release did include the Windows RT edition, as well as spelled out which companies will be making tablets running it on ARM chips from NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and TI.

Windows 8 start screen In addition to Microsoft itself, Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung will be introducing Windows RT-based tablets, according to the post, which was authored by Mike Angiulo, vice president of Microsoft’s Ecosystem and Planning team.

While Angiulo noted that OEMS such as Asus and Lenovo have already released specs regarding their upcoming Windows tablets, Samsung and Dell have mostly?remained mum about specifics.

Even so,?the post does point out that?Sam Burd, vice president of the Dell PC Product Group, has promised the company’s tablet will take advantage of the capabilities that the new ecosystems offers to help customers do more at work and home. Angiulo also pointed out that Samsung is developing the Series 7 Windows 8 tablet.

This follows the announcement by Asus of the Windows RT Tablet 600, which will pack a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core CPU and a 12-core GPU. The device will also feature an external keyboard where the tablet can plug in, allowing it to operate like a laptop, a characteristic that will apparently be common among most Windows RT tablets.

Hardware Options

“Some of our Windows RT PCs come with full keyboard and touchpad solutions, whether removable/dockable or a traditional clamshell,” wrote Angiulo, who also cited that Microsoft has been working with touchpad component vendors to include native support in firmware to deliver “incredibly fast” Windows 8 gesture recognition.

Microsoft also promised better graphics performance, with the core Windows RT UI animations said to achieve 60fps. Equipped to support a wide range of connections, including USB mass storage, printing, audio/video peripherals, WWAN, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, Windows RT PCs will be a “thin and light in industrial design” with long battery life, touted Angiulo.

While no exact release dates for the tablets were mentioned in Angiulo’s post, Microsoft’s own rival Windows RT-based tablet, dubbed the Surface, is set to ship Oct. 26. It seems likely all of these will be introduced close to that time.

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