Photo: Illustration: Ellis Hamburger
Intel expects the first crop of Windows 8 tablets this year to have 9 hours of battery life, and expects them to come in two form factors: a 10-inch regular tablet, and an 11-inch “convertible” that turns into a regular laptop computer with keyboard.As reported by CNET, Intel revealed the specs at a conference in Beijing yesterday.
These are just specs for hardware makers to aim for, not guarantees, but at least Intel believes its upcoming “Clover Trail” chip will let these tablets have 9 hours of battery life. That would make them competitive with the iPad on that front.
It would also let Intel pre-empt a potential threat from Microsoft’s OTHER kind of Windows tablets — the ones that will run processors based on ARM designs. Apple and other tablet makers have used ARM processors because they use less power than Intel chips, allowing for longer battery life.
Other specs revealed by Intel:
- Weight less than 1.5 pounds. The current iPad weighs just less than that.
- Thickness less than 9mm. Just slightly thinner than the current iPad.
- NFC, which could be used to send short bursts of information to nearby devices. (NFC is most associated with Google Wallet, which lets users tap their phones against a console in a store to buy something, but it could be used in a lot of other ways as well.)
- Wi-Fi Direct (which allows devices to connect directly to one another, as well as to a Wi-Fi network) and 3G or 4G. These are obvious must-have features, and could be provided by Intel, which bought wireless hardware company Infineon last year.
Microsoft also has its own list of requirements, including Bluetooth 4.0, a camera, and various sensors like an accelerometer.
Basically, Microsoft and Intel want to make sure that these things can compete head to head with the iPad on specs.
Now, it’s up to hardware makers to fulfil these goals, and create cool must-have designs that inspire people to buy them.