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Best Windows 8 tablets, hybrids at show

Agam Shah | June 12, 2012
Touch was the hot trend at last week's Computex trade show in Taipei, with computer makers showing off tablets and ultrabook-tablet hybrids with detachable or folding touchscreens. The devices ran either Windows 8 (for Intel processors) or Windows RT (for ARM processors), OSes due for release later this year that are designed for touch interfaces. Prices were not immediately available on most tablet or hybrid models, leaving questions about whether touch devices will be priced at a premium. For example, Dell has already said that it would price touchscreen devices higher compared to the non-touch counterparts.

Samsung's Series 7 slates

Samsung last year gave out test units of its Series 7 tablets at Microsoft's Build conference as a showcase to highlight the touch features on Windows 8. That laptop was upgraded at Computex to the latest Ivy Bridge microprocessors. At 12.9 millimeters and 860 grams, it isn't the lightest tablet out there, but with powerful Ivy Bridge processors, it can provide serious horsepower to run resource-hungry programs and games. The tablet ran swiftly when tested, and the touch features worked flawlessly. But with the powerful processors also comes heat, an issue that dogged the Series 7 laptops with Sandy Bridge processors. The upcoming laptop will come with 64GB and 128GB solid-state drives. Prices and availability were not immediately available.

MSI's Slider S20

MSI's Slider S20 ultrabook was attracting a lot of attention at Computex for its unique sliding screen design. The ultrabook has a 11.6 inch touchscreen that collapses over the keyboard to turn the laptop into a Windows 8 tablet. The ultrabook is 20 millimeters thick and weighs just 1.3 kilograms, which is comparable to the lightest laptops available. The ultrabook comes with Intel's latest Ivy Bridge processors, and offers up to eight hours of battery life depending on usage. Laptop features include USB 3.0 and high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) ports, and price and availability were not provided.

Acer's Windows 8 tablets, ultrabooks

Acer incorporated touchscreens in new ultrabooks and tablets introduced at Computex, but the designs were more conventional compared to Asus. Acer introduced two Windows 8 tablets -- Iconia W510 and W700 -- which run on Intel processors. The W510 has a 10.1-inch screen and is priced from US$599 to $799, while the high-performance W700 ranges between $799 and $999. Acer's new Aspire S7 touch ultrabooks come in an 11.6-inch model, which offers nine hours of battery, and a 13.3-inch model, which offers up to 12 hours. The ultrabooks are priced between $999 and $1,799. Acer will also introduce new Windows RT devices with ARM processors in the first quarter next year.

(Michael Kan of the IDG News Service contributed to this story.)

 

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