New Windows-based Systems

Microsoft was pretty excited to introduce some new systems based around the latest technologies from its main partners. First they showed off some new notebooks running Sandy Bridge, which we've covered extensively in the past. From there, Microsoft moved on to HP's new DM1, which is based on AMD's line of Fusion mobile APUs. The DM1 starts at $449, and houses an 11.6" WXGA display in an attractive enclosure. Inside, there's the AMD Vision E-350, which has two 1.6GHz cores and a Radeon HD 6310 on board. HP is claiming 9.5 hours of battery life on the standard 6 cell, 55 Wh battery, which is competitive with Atom and pretty impressive if that figure holds up in real life testing.

Obviously, the big thing at CES this year is tablets, and Microsoft has their fair share of them to trot out. On stage, they started with the 14" Acer Iconia dual-screen tablet. Spec-wise, it's a pretty standard mid-range notebook, with a Core i5 processor, Intel's onboard graphics, 4GB memory, and a 750GB hard disk. The real story is in the twin WXGA capactive touchscreens that enable some innovative new input methods. However, it's still just a concept device for now.

Next up was the Samsung Sliding PC 7 Series, which is a new kind of convertible tablet. Similar in concept to the ASUS Slider tablet that was announced earlier at CES, the Sliding PC 7 Series (no, I did not make that name up) is a standard tablet in which the screen slides up to reveal a netbook sized keyboard and then tilts forward to become a regular notebook-like system. The Sliding 7 is an Oak Trail-based system, running the 1.66GHz Z670 processor with a 10.1" WXGA touchscreen, 2GB memory, 32GB and 64GB SSD options, Windows 7, and a $699 pricetag. According to Samsung, it will boot in under 20 seconds and has a 9 hour battery. Quite frankly, I'm in love. We managed to get some hands on impressions of the device later on at the Intel booth; I'll give you more details in a future post.

Lastly, Microsoft showcased ASUS' EP121 tablet. We already looked at this one in our ASUS tablet annoucement post, but we got some hands on time as well, so let's reiterate - it's nice. It's absolutely jam packed with features, and it's not terribly expensive for what it is. The Core i5 UM processor, IPS display, and Wacom digitizer are a combination of features that really wins the high-end tablet market, so it's not suprising that Microsoft chose to highlight it in their keynote. But the overall takeaway here is that Microsoft seems pretty excited with the direction that Windows 7-based systems are going, with new form factors and plenty of exciting technologies being developed and released at a very rapid rate.

Windows on SoCs
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  • vol7ron - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    Looks like the tablet is coming close to replacing the notebook. Of course they still lack power, they are looking a lot more powerful.

    You were in love with the Samsung - I do like the sliding feature - but I'm in love with the Acer's: Core i5 processor, Intel's onboard graphics, 4GB memory, and a 750GB hard disk
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    Hp 2740p... have a look (but costs a bt), also has an extended slice battery
  • inaphasia - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    Or the notebook could literally "swallow up" the tablet! You wouldn't mind being able to pop the screen off your notebook, would you?

    On their own tabs just aren't good at anything. I mean the smartphone made your mp3 & (pocket) digital camera extinct. Probably your GPS too! That's 3 less gadgets to charge & carry around:D There's the added bonus of being able to watch an episode of something and they are perfect for FB/Twitter junkies!
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    I don't get tablets. - give me a keyboard and a hard cover for the screen to protect it - a notebook, in other words. Give me 320GB of storage, not 32GB.

    Okay I get a Kindle, something like that, something small enough you can hold and read like a book but not too small. $139 for something like that isn't bad. I don't see me ever getting sold on tablets, though. I don't see the tablet replacing the notebook for most people, especially those who actually have a use for one.

  • wolrah - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    While obviously Windows 8 is likely to be a bit away, if Microsoft thinks they can have it running reliably with usable performance on ARM, I'm thinking something like the Altrix that runs whatever version of Windows Phone is out when Windows 8 is released as it's primary OS, then also has a full Windows 8 session for the docks.

    I wonder, however, how they intend on getting support for a new platform in the consumer market. x86-64 is fully backwards compatible, so aside from drivers nothing needed to be updated, and Itanium only exists for a niche market with specific apps. Consumers would be really confused by an environment which looks like Windows but can't run any of their apps. Does this mean we might see fat binaries for Windows?

    There are a lot of questions, but it should be an interesting story to follow.
  • wolrah - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    Can't edit, but I had a thought. Windows 8 is also rumored to contain Microsoft's "App Store", so if they have their app store policies either require or heavily prefer either platform-independent apps (thinking Silverlight) or those written in one of the standard .net languages which supposedly can be more easily ported.
  • BugblatterIII - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    A fully-managed .Net app should just work.
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    In all honesty, Windows 7(8) offers us, the consumer, the best of all worlds. All we need now are the appropriate touch screen applications as well as 'apps' to throw away our time.

    Wish list
    - At least 1024x768
    - SSD drive and a fast one at that
    - 10.2" screen
    - fast cpu
    - more than 7 hours battery life

    Enter the HP 2740p, which only really fails on price. I'll be setting the DPI to 125%, desktop icons to large and tweaking the living heck out of the thing. Might also try to see if I can get a build of Windows 7 Embedded standard working well.

    As it stands, Plants Vs zombies is great on a Win7 touchscreen :) (I currently own an Asus R2h and a random oem tablet from China)
  • TareX - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    So if Windows 7 will be coming to Tegra 2 and the like, what's the need for Windows Phone? Why not have the functionality of Windows along with a more mobile-friendly UI? Oh, lagginess.

    It seems that Microsoft is posed to repeat the Windows Mobile experience, once again.

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