Lenovo decided to kick off CES 2013 by announcing an enormous 27-inch tablet running Windows 8. Dubbed the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC, this tablet – or “table’t,” as we’ve nicknamed it – boasts some impressive specs, including an Intel Core i7 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M GPU capable of 1920 x 1080, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive (plus an optional 64GB SSD), and a 720p HD front-facing camera.
Of course, a tablet this big comes with a few downsides. It weighs a hefty 17.9 pounds (did the little girls really just grab it off the table in the above promotional video?) and it has a scant two hours of battery life. But with a 27-inch form factor, portability isn’t exactly its goal anyway.
Lenovo is attempting to hype up the tablet’s strengths for gaming, entertainment, and in-person collaboration. The All-in-One even coms with a kickstand, four joysticks, and e-dice.
All of this can be had for $1,699 when the IdeaCentre Horizon is released this summer. And if you’re interested in something even bigger, Lenovo is actually looking into the possibility of releasing a 38-inch model as well.
The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT is a pretty darn good device (read my review here), but a number of people decided to hold out for the more powerful Surface with Windows 8 Pro. If you’re in the latter camp, you’ll be pleased to know that the device is still on track for a late-January release.
While the Surface Pro’s battery life won’t last as long as the nine-hour battery on the Surface RT, it makes up for it with a more powerful Intel Ivy Bridge processor for better performance and a higher resolution, as well as support for legacy desktop applications. Microsoft originally stated that “Surface for Windows RT will release with the general availability of Windows 8, and the Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later.” While most assumed that this number was just an approximation, that might not actually be the case.
CNET talked to a number of Microsoft’s retail stores located around the United States and Canada, and while most were hesitant to commit to a date, one said that it “expects the new tablet on January 26.” Not coincidentally, this is exactly three months days after the launch of Windows 8. Of course, other sources seem to believe it’ll be more like January 29. If Microsoft follows the same pattern it did with the Surface RT launch, official details could arrive as soon as January 16. An announcement during CES next week is possible but unlikely, due to Microsoft’s decreased presence at the show.
It’s the rumor that never ends. While it’s been a few months since our last good Nokia tablet rumor, but the latest rumblings are that the Finnish manufacturer and close Microsoft partner plans to announce a Windows RT tablet during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which will take place February 25-28, 2013.
According to the report, the device will feature a 10-inch screen and run Windows RT, the ARM-based version of Windows 8. It will also be powered by a dual-core Qualcomm S4 processor. Nokia intendeds to dip its toes in the water with the production of 200,000 units, with more to come if it is successful. The device is expected to be made available through AT&T, among other stores, so a 4G connection probably isn’t out of the question. Plus, it would give the Nokia tablet a leg-up on the Surface, which the Finnish manufacturer tried to stay clear of by delaying the development of its own tablet.
Of course, the source of the rumor is DigiTimes, so take all of this with a grain of salt. That being said, even Nokia’s own CEO, Stephen Elop, has teased the device on occasion, so a Mobile World Congress launch isn’t out of the question.
Google has made the decision not to release additional apps on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The company released a Google search app on the Windows Store, but that’s as much as users are going to get. The search giant’s other apps and services, such as Gmail and Google Drive, are not currently planned for Microsoft’s latest operating systems.
“We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8,” said Clay Bavor, the product management director of Google Apps.
Google, of course, has an incentive to not help users on Microsoft’s products. The ad-disguised-as-search company currently holds a large share of the smartphone and tablet markets, and directing PC users away from the web browser and toward apps probably isn’t ideal, both from a user experience and a revenue perspective.
Of course, while this means you won’t be able to fire up a Google-made app, does anyone really care? Bing is heavily integrated into Windows and Windows Phone, and it’s easy to set up your Gmail account with the existing Mail, Calendar, and People apps. So unless you’re really hoping for something like Google Maps or Google Drive, you’re not really missing out on much.
The full trailer for the game shows off the Star Wars-inspired characters and environments, which have been quipped with new abilities and powers like blasters. All of your favorite Original Trilogy characters will be playable, and even the Millennium Falcon makes an appearance as what appears to be the replacement for the Mighty Eagle.
With Disney now in control of Lucasfilm and LucasArts, we will likely see more Star Wars mobile and social games cropping up in the future. I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely picking up Angry Birds Star Wars when it arrives on Windows Phone, Windows 8 (as both a Windows Store app and a traditional desktop application), Kindle Fire, Android, iOS, and Mac on November 8.
When Microsoft announced the Surface tablet, which packs an integrated kickstand and magnetically-attached Touch/Type Cover keyboard, many wondered just how well it would work in various usage scenarios. So far, I’ve been impressed with the device.
Placing the Surface on a – erm – surface, as you would with a traditional laptop, works extremely well, and you can even do it sans cover for a nice viewing experience or a family photo. Holding it in your hands works well too, despite its relatively large and quite wide 10.6-inch screen. It weighs about the same as an iPad, so if you can hold that device without your arms feeling fatigued, you’ll feel right at home with the Surface.
These scenarios, however, weren’t what people were worried about. I’m pleased to say that the Surface works great in your lap too. The Touch Cover is rigid enough to avoid bending while on your legs, and I hardly noticed the feel of the kickstand. Of course, if you’re the kind of person who likes to sit at an odd angle, you might have to straighten yourself a bit before getting work done. It works great on an airplane too. I took my Surface with me on a business trip, and I was surprised to discover that it fit perfectly on the tray table, allowing me to get work done or watch a video in comfort while in flight.
Overall, the Surface has proven to be very versatile and equipped for nearly every situation. The inclusion of the keyboard, large screen, and Office have made it easier to be both productive and entertained than any other tablet I’ve ever used.
Microsoft officially launched the Surface and Windows 8 in New York City today, priming the pump for general availability at midnight tonight. Panos Panay, the General Manager of the Surface team, joined Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky on stage to show off the beautiful device, which blurs the line between tablets and laptops. Put simply, “Surface is the ultimate expression of Windows.”
The two went into great detail regarding the design of the Surface, from the custom 10.6-inch 16:9 display to the Touch Cover, integrated kickstand, weight, microSDXC card slot, and camera design. Passion for the device excuded from Sinofsky and Panay, and it was easy to see just how excited they were to be showing the device off to the world. At one point, Sinofsky even gave his Surface a big hug.
Microsoft launched its Surface ad campaign during Monday Night Football this evening, highlighting the device’s great features and distinctive clicking sound. The TV spot, dubbed “The Surface Movement,” is a departure from your typical Microsoft advertisement, but it still does a great job of appealing to all sorts of people.
Musically, it’s not all that dissimilar from the original Surface teaser, thanks to its catchy, upbeat score with just a bit of dubstep. In addition to highlighting the touch/type cover’s magnetic hinge, the spot showcases the device’s touchscreen, handy kickstand, and wide range of colors. Students, kids, business professionals, and even grandparents are shown using, dancing with, and spinning around the Surface.
Microsoft Surface launches on October 26, alongside Windows 8. We still don’t many details about the exact specs and pricing, but there are rumors that these important pieces of information will be announced tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to click in.
When the Microsoft Surface tablet launches in two weeks alongside Windows 8, it’ll be sold exclusively at Microsoft Stores. This is in comparison to the hundreds of other Windows 8 PCs and devices - from manufacturers like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Samsung, and Sony - which have already gone up for pre-order through a variety of retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, and the Microsoft Store. But, according to Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott, “major retailers will be selling Surface starting early next year.”
This delay is likely to give Microsoft’s partners time to sell their devices in the market before customers begin to flock to Microsoft’s debut first-party PC. Thurrott’s statement has also been backed up by Neowin’s sources, which claim that Best Buy will have the device in stock in January – just in time to sell the Surface Pro. We still don’t know what how the Surface and Surface Pro will be priced, let alone many of the technical specs. But with only 12 days until the big launch event in New York, we shouldn’t have to wait long.
Acer has announced that its 11.6-inch Iconia W700 tablet will retail for $800 starting on October 26. The device includes a special “tri-mode” optimized touch, typing, and viewing, and it has an attachable keyboard. Other specs include a 1920 x 1080 IPS display, 1MP front-facing camera and 5MP back-facing camera, an Ivy Bridge processor, 4GB of RAM, and USB 3.0. $800 will get you a Core i3 processor and 64GB of storage, $900 will bump you up to a Core i5 processor, and the $1,000 model features both a Core i5 processor and 128GB of storage.
AT&T, meanwhile, is showing off two new Windows 8 tablets that will be arriving on its network on Windows 8 launch day: the ASUS VivoTab RT and the Samsung ATIV Smart PC.
As you might expect, ASUS’ offering is a thin-and-light Windows RT tablet equipped with 4G LTE. The 10.1-inch Super IPS display with ASUS TruVivid technology is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 32GB of storage.
The Samsung device goes for the other segment of the market, featuring a detachable keyboard for switching between a clamshell notebook PC and a tablet PC. It has a slightly larger 11.6-inch HD PLS display, and it includes an Intel Clover Trail 1.5Ghz dual-core processor and 64GB of storage. It’ll also run Windows 8, for full compatibility with legacy desktop applications.