A couple of days back; we got our first glimpse of an actual retail tablet from Dell that will feature Intel’s upcoming Clover Trail SoC and Windows 8. The tablet comes from their Latitude series, which means it’s geared more towards businesses, so we are yet to see what their Inspiron and XPS series of tablets will look like. If we had to guess, we’d hope to see something like the Inspiron Duo that Dell teased us with a couple of years ago, but never actually managed to get to retail shelves. Only, this time we think the notebook would be a lot slimmer, so that it could actually be used as a tablet, single-handedly. Clover Trail is an interesting SoC, as it uses the similar architecture as Medfield, but will feature two cores, instead of one and will most likely feature HyperThreading. Clover Trail is also designed specifically for tablets and since Windows already has good support for threaded CPUs, we feel it should do just fine.
This design (but slimmer) with Windows 8? Hmmm
Once these tablets launch in a few months, the biggest dilemma that users will be facing is not whether to get an Android/iOS tablet vs Windows, but rather whether you should get one based on Windows 8 or Windows RT. So we know that Windows 8 will come to notebooks in a couple of variants. It will also feature the Metro UI. Windows RT, on the other hand will be quite different and will only come pre-loaded on tablets or tablet/notebook hybrids, it’s not something you’ll be able to buy from a store. The trouble with the Dell Latitude 10 is that it comes with Windows 8 and not Windows RT, so unless Dell is planning on shipping it with a keyboard dock of some sort, it’s going to be a nightmare to use on the regular desktop and in a way defeats the whole purpose of Windows 8. What’s the one reason that would compel you to go in for a Windows 8 tablet, rather than an Android or an iOS one?
For me at least, it’s the idea of having the flexibility of tablet like the Transformer Prime, but with a more familiar OS like Windows, so that I can run all my applications that I use anyways on my desktop. This will be possible only in tablets that have Windows 8 and are powered by Intel or AMD CPUs. Windows RT tablets (based on ARM), on the other hand will only feature the Metro UI (as is my understanding of it) and any and all apps that you install will be from the app store. This means Windows RT tablets won’t be any different from an iPad or a Galaxy Tab and unless they are cheap, it makes no sense buying them since the ecosystem of apps will be nowhere close to what iOS and Android offers. While I’m looking forward to Windows 8 tablets, I’m only really excited about the ones that run Windows 8 and have ‘Transformer-like’ abilities, as those are the ones that will really be a game changer.
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