Intel and partners may be late to the tablet party, but they're here

Intel and its hardware partners have launched a broad attack on the tablet market.

Intel Z2760 dual-core processor will go head to head with chips like Apple's A5X.
(Credit: Intel)

Standing alongside Intel at an event in San Francisco were executives from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and ZTE. Those companies were showcasing new Windows 8 tablets and convertible devices.

Many if not most of the devices have already been unveiled, such as HP's Envy x2, Dell's Latitude 10 and Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2.

All of the devices feature Intel's dual-core Z2760 "Clover Trail" Atom Processor, a power-efficient system on a chip that allows partners to build tablets as thin as 8.5mm and as light as 680g.

Intel is claiming that the chip provides long battery life — over 10 hours of local HD video playback and over three weeks of standby time.

The chipmaker is also touting near-field communication (NFC), which pairs devices with a quick tap. Intel's silicon also provides support for HD cameras (up to 8MP) Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G long-term evolution (LTE).

Tablets and convertibles using the new Intel chip will come with the full version of Windows 8, which can run virtually anything that a Windows 7 laptop can. This differs from tablets based on Windows RT: those devices cannot run so-called "legacy" Windows software.

Microsoft, Intel and the PC crowd are late to the sub-1kg, touch-centric tablet market. Apple launched its iPad in April 2010, and holds the lion's share of the global tablet market, while Android tablet suppliers such as Samsung, Motorola and Asus are already onto second- and third-generation devices.


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