Intel Windows 8 tablets coming November

May 15, 2012

If you have resisted buying an iPad or Android tablet in favor of waiting for a Windows 8-powered tablet then your wait is almost over.

The original iPad was released more than two years ago now, and hasn’t time flown. In that time Android tablets have been slowly improving and coming down in price. Meanwhile Microsoft has been very quiet. Windows 7 isn’t really designed for use on tablets. Unlike Windows 8, which was clearly built with that form factor in mind right from the off.

The first Intel-based Windows 8-powered tablets will be available to buy at retail in November, according to sources speaking to CNET. There are reportedly “more than a dozen” designs in the pipeline, “more than 50 percent” of which are hybrids or convertibles. These are laptops which convert into touchscreen tablets and vice versa. Regardless of the design all of the Intel tablets will use the ‘Clover Trail’ Atom dual-core chips.

According to PC World, some analysts think a November launch for the first Intel-based Windows 8 tablets will be too late. For what exactly? Yes, it means they will be joining the holiday season late but the tablet market is bigger than that. Anyone who tells you Apple has it sewn up with the iPad is forgetting or ignoring how rapidly things change in the world of technology.

I firmly believe tablets in some form or another will eventually replace laptops and desktops completely, but while the iPad has led the way in these early days of the market that means little in the longterm. For all its faults Windows still has a lot of fans out there, and hybrids seem a sensible choice for those of us not keen on having multiple devices that all do the same thing in a slightly different way.

2013 should be an interesting year for tablets. Just don’t expect the first-generation Windows 8 devices to be all that good.

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