Microsoft teases quad-core Windows tablet at Tech Ed

By on August 26, 2011, 2:20 PM

Microsoft has yet to come out with a decent alternative to Apple's iPad and the host of tablets running Google's Android, but that's not stopping the company from grabbing a bit of attention for itself recently after showing off a quad-core slate that "might" be running Windows 8. Microsoft didn't say much about the device itself, but according to reports the company is planning to unveil and showcase this tablet at the Build developers conference next month.

One report from IT consultant Alan Burchill, an attendee at the Tech Ed conference in New Zealand where the tablet was briefly flashed, said Microsoft would be giving these out to attendees at an "upcoming Microsoft event," but those claims have since disappeared from his original post with no explanation as to why.

Microsoft decided not to comment on the report, but considering Windows 8 is on the agenda for Build, one would expect they'd at least tout the device as Windows 8-ready. During the event the company also said there are quad-core Windows 7 slates coming later this year that will offer eight hours of battery life, a 10-inch HD screen and 1080p playback. He didn't mention what processor would be powering the device, and as far as we know Intel doesn't make any quad-core x86 chips with the kind of low voltage to enable 8 hours of battery life, but we'd be glad to be proven wrong.

On the ARM front, Nvidia's Kal-El is supposedly planned to arrive in tablets sometime around September, while rivals Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are also expected to have something ready before the year closes.




User Comments: 13

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Win7Dev said:

Maybe we can finally see some decent quad core 14" laptops then if a quad core can be put into a tablet. I know that there are quads in smaller laptops, but they are at like 1Ghz

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Slate = heavy tablet?

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Win

You need to update your information. Apart from 'slowish' AMD quardcore APUs, decent Intel quad cores has been available on notebooks for a while now, e.g. Q2630/Q2820 etc. I have a notebook with 2630, and it is pretty nice. In fact since I bought this notebook I have used my PC 3 or 4 times (only).

Guest said:

I got a chance to use an ASUS EP121 Windows tablet. It was amazing.

I'm really excited about Windows tablets.

If the EP121 was not so high priced I would have one now.

The battery life was an issue, but I could get real work done and also do the normal tablet stuff.

Windows 8 and newer ARM chips should make a Windows tablet a must for me.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I'm super curious to see how an NVIDIA Kal-El, Windows 8 tablet would perform. I'm thinking a possible dual-boot Android/Windows 8 tablet would be sa-weet!

matrix86 matrix86 said:

gwailo247 said:

Slate = heavy tablet?

Nope. Tablets were originally convertible laptops. You know, a laptop with a swivel touch screen. A slate is more like what we have coming out now. As far as which one is correct, I think it's more of a personal preference. Some say that tablet is a main category of computing. Meaning:

Tablet Computer:

-convertible laptop (known as the "tablet PC"

-slate (what we have on the market now)

Tablet is more widely accepted than slate, so like I said, it's personal opinion. I personally agree with the example above, but I do use the term "tablet."

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Nope. Tablets were originally convertible laptops. You know, a laptop with a swivel touch screen. A slate is more like what we have coming out now. As far as which one is correct, I think it's more of a personal preference. Some say that tablet is a main category of computing. Meaning:

Tablet Computer:

-convertible laptop (known as the "tablet PC"

-slate (what we have on the market now)

Tablet is more widely accepted than slate, so like I said, it's personal opinion. I personally agree with the example above, but I do use the term "tablet."

I think that we're going to see a differentiation between lighter and heavier tablets/slates, like we do with ultraportable laptops and regular laptops and desktop replacement laptops, in terms of weight and power.

So there will be iPad type tablets for casual use, and then heavier desktop replacement tablets that are going to pack serious horsepower and allow more processor intensive activities such as video editing, drafting, etc.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Really don't have apps to take full usage of Quad core CPU let along now that some laptops and soon to be tablets will have such a core in there.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You will be surprised that even an everyday productivity tool like Excel can use multiple cores much more efficiently. Let alone the video editing stuff, or 3D + CAD applications etc.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I don't see the point of having a quad-core processor in a tablet even one running a current or future version of Windows. It's not like most people who own tablets are running productivity and/or office applications unless we classify reading e-mail and web news, watching videos and playing games as productive tasks.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I don't see the point of having a quad-core processor in a tablet even one running a current or future version of Windows. It's not like most people who own tablets are running productivity and/or office applications unless we classify reading e-mail and web news, watching videos and playing games as productive tasks.

Part of that would be because we currently don't have tablets made for doing work. Tablets today are made for playing with apps and web browsing. But with Windows being Windows, you know it's tablets will be geared more towards office type stuff. I would love a Windows tablet, so that I could still get work done when i'm on the go. Just bring along my tablet and one of those fold out usb keyboard and be good to go. Because I really don't like carrying around my heavy laptop.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Part of that would be because we currently don't have tablets made for doing work.

Even then there will be tasks which tablets will not be able to do (unless they get whole lot better) e.g. CAD/Engineering related software, for now they are simply crap for these tasks, and I am not going to talk about running proper 3D games on them.

Guest said:

That is great news. It will need a quad core just to run Windows and the associated bloatware that comes with it.

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