Rumors suggest that both Acer and Lenovo are working on tablets based on Intel x86 chips and Microsoft’s Windows 8 next generation operating system.
x86 Windows 8 Tablets Coming Out This Year In June
According to rumors circulating throughout the industry, Acer and Lenovo are both preparing to release x86 tablets by June this year. They both plan to use Intel’s upcoming “Clover Trail” System-On-a-Chip (SoC) in these tablets. This is the same SoC that is going to be used in most Ultrabooks after Windows 8 is officially released for commercial use.
The reason this news is interesting because tablets are still ruled by chip made on the ARM architecture such as Apple’s A4 and A5 chips, Texas Instruments OMAP chips and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips. Intel, along with AMD, uses the x86 architecture — the sole platform for Windows up until the hybrid development of Windows 8. The reason this architecture has not been popular in tablets is because despite its greater processing power over ARM, it is not power efficient enough yet to compete head on ARM’s legendary power efficiency.
Intel intends to change that with Clover Trail though. They intend to break the 8-hour battery life barrier in their Ultrabook ultrabportable notebooks and they also intend to get in to the mobile sector seriously. That is where the tablets come in.
Clover Trail is clearly not going to ready for smartphone deployment but it can easily be integrated in to tablets, which have already seen the use of current generation low-power Intel chips.
According to the report, published by industry news source Digitimes — these tablets are scheduled for the third quarter of this year. This means anytime between beginning of June and end of August. This is close to the expected commercial release schedule of Windows 8 and is hence plausible. However, with the Beta appearing only in late February, there’s still some doubts regarding a Q3 release by Microsoft.