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.
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.
The Windows Store currently has more than 1,000 apps ready for download, but all of these apps were published by pre-approved developers. Today, that changes. Microsoft has opened up the floodgates, allowing any developer to submit his or her Windows 8 app for certification and publication in the Windows Store.
Developers in more than 120 markets (up from the previous 38) can submit their apps for inclusion in first-ever app marketplace on a Windows operating system. While Microsoft normally charges an annual fee for access – $49 for individuals or $99 for companies – there are also a number of ways to get complementary access, such as MSDN subscriptions, BizSpark, and the DreamSpark program for students.
If you’re not a developer, this means that you’ll soon be able to download many, many new apps for your brand new Windows 8 PC or tablet. With just over six weeks until the big Windows 8 launch, the number of app submissions is sure to skyrocket.
The final version of Windows 8 has been finalized and it’s on its way to OEMs. One of the many manufacturers looking to take advantage of Windows 8’s touch-friendly UI is Lenovo, which plans to release a new tablet – tentatively known as the Thinkpad Tablet 2 – this fall.
The Chinese manufacturer hasn’t officially announced the device, but the specs have found their way online for everyone to see. We’re looking at a 10.1-inch tablet running at a resolution of 1366 x 768 with anti-glare technology. Internally, it’s powered by a dual-core Atom processor, which means it’ll run Windows 8 32-bit, not the ARM-based Windows RT. Other features include an 8MP camera with auto-focus and flash, a 2MP front facing camera with 720p HD video, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of internal memory, ten hours of battery life, a dual-array microphone with noise cancelation, and stereo speakers. Lenovo also has a wide variety of optional add-ons such as a pen, fingerprint reader with NFC, and HSPA+.
For the full specs, check out the images after the break.
The exciting Microsoft Surface tablet will be available for purchase on October 26, according to Microsoft’s US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. The tablet will go on sale on the same day as Windows 8, fulfilling Microsoft’s promise to release the ARM-based version of the Surface around the time of Windows 8’s General Availability (GA).
Microsoft plans to sell the Surface exclusively in Microsoft stores for an as-yet-unannounced price. It will, however, “be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet.” The same goes for the Surface Pro, which will be similar in pricing to an Intel Ultrabook-class PC when it is released 90 days after the Surface. In other words, a $500-$1,000 range for the whole Surface lineup probably isn’t too far-fetched.
The question now is whether or not to pick up an ARM-based Surface or wait for the Intel-based Surface Pro, which is a full-fledged PC.
Microsoft has announced that the first Windows 8 tablets and PCs will hit stores on Friday, October 26, 2012. Steven Sinofsky, the President of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, announced the operating system’s release date at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting earlier today.
Windows 8 is a major milestone for Microsoft, representing the company’s first operating system designed specifically for touch devices like tablets. Previous versions of Windows were touch-capable, but they often suffered because the OS wasn’t designed with touch in mind. The Metro-style interface found in Windows 8 is an enormous leap forward, bringing together the best of what Microsoft has to offer.
Of course, if you already have a Windows-based tablet, you’ll be able to purchase an upgrade copy for just $15 on recently-acquired devices or $40 on older machines. The unanswered question on everyone’s mind, however, is whether or not the Microsoft Surface tablet will be released on launch day. The Intel-based version, known as the Surface Pro, is expected to be released 90 days after its ARM-based companion.
The best tablets are often based on ARM processors, rather than Intel-based ones, but if you happen to have a Windows 7 tablet lying around, you’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that Microsoft plans to sell Windows 8 Pro upgrades for as little as $39.99 at launch. This price tag is significantly cheaper than previous versions of Windows, despite the fact that Windows 8 is arguably the biggest revision of Microsoft’s OS in the history of the company – or, at least, since Windows 95.
When Windows 8 is released this fall, PCs running any consumer (e.g. not Enterprise) version Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 in one of 131 markets will be eligible for a $39.99 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, the best version of Windows 8 available to consumers. This special pricing, however, will only apply to orders purchased through Windows.com. Store-bought shrink-wrapped DVD copies of Windows 8 Pro will retail for a slightly more expensive $69.99, which is still a bargain compared to past OSes. Best, of all, Microsoft is changing its position on Windows Media Center and offering it as a free add-on to everyone who purchases a copy of Windows 8 Pro.
Hewlett-Packard’s computing division has been very indecisive as of late, so it should come as no surprise that the company is once again making some odd choices. This time, it’s the decision to opt out of Windows RT tablet and instead solely manufacture tablets running the traditional version of Windows 8.
This decision, the company claims, is based on customer feedback. “The robust and established ecosystem of [Intel-based Windows] applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future,” said a company spokesperson.
This is actually true, from an application compatibility perspective. Windows 8 is based on Intel architecture, so it is fully compatible with legacy desktop applications like Office, Photoshop, etc. Windows RT, on the other hand, does not support desktop apps, encouraging the use of Microsoft’s new Metro-style apps on Windows 8 tablets. This might seem like a disadvantage, but ARM-based tablets which support Windows RT will have a longer battery life, faster performance, and do not require the use of fans to cool down the machine. In other words, they’re like an iPad or Android tablet, rather than your traditional tablet PC.
HP’s decision is both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. The optimal route, however, would be to sell both types of tablets. One aimed at consumers who want a true tablet experience and the other aimed at people who want the best of both worlds: full backwards compatibility in a tablet form factor. This is the route Microsoft chose to go with its Surface tablets. That’s not to say that HP won’t create a Windows RT tablet – the company just won’t have one right out of the gate.