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Summary:

A big consumer electronics show in Taiwan is approaching and it’s expected the big focus will be on tablets. Several companies will be unveiling slates, and while some of them will be based on technology from ARM and Nvidia there will be some Wintel tablets, too.

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Computex, the big consumer electronics show in Taiwan, is approaching and it’s expected the big focus will be on new tablets. Several companies will be unveiling slates designed to compete with the iPad, and while some of them will be based on technology from ARM and Nvidia there will be some Wintel tablets, too. Intel is expected to announce some silicon designed specifically for tablet products, and it is unknown what processor products this might be.

Two major manufacturers had announced early this year the upcoming release of Android tablets based on Nvidia Tegra technology, but DigiTimes is reporting that pressure from Intel and Microsoft will result in Windows 7 slates from the companies being shown. Asustek and MSI are both major players in the personal computer space, and the race to get a slate to market on any platform validates how hot the segment has become. We were impressed with the Tegra tablets we saw in action at the CES back in January.

This week an Intel executive mentioned that the company will be announcing at Computex new products aimed at tablets specifically. Not much is known about Intel’s planned announcement but it’s clear the company is not ignoring the hot category.

Related content on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Can Anyone Compete With the iPad?

  1. GoodThings2Life Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    My new dream is for fall is a “Zune Slate”… something based on Windows Phone 7 OS in a tablet form factor. Providing they can get developers on board, that is.

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    1. That may be a working strategy long-term, but I think it would be a very bad business move for MS to push a new, untested mobile operating system as their answer to the iPad unless they’ve specifically designed it for tablet usability from the get-go. The iPad benefits not only from developer buy-in, but from consumer buy-in and familiarity with the UI; you won’t get that out of the gate with a WP7 tablet. (You won’t get it with a WP7 phone, either, unless you’re only selling to Zune owners, but my gut feeling is that the market has higher expectations for tablet usability.)

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    2. A Zune slate would be awesome, and you just reminded me that consumers still have the yearly refresh of the Zune to look forward to. Of course, as you say developers are key, and I don’t see too many devs on board the Zune HD platform.

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  2. “pressure from Intel and Microsoft”

    I’d call that a far cry – HP canceled it’s slate in a heartbeat. Manufacturers may make it “seem” that they are scrambling to compete with Apple right now, but in the long run I’m thinking all the hype will end up as wasted R&D on products that either won’t sell well at all, or end up obsolete very quickly.

    Slates may be hot today, but it’s a fad that will die down once people get over it and realize that regular PC’s still serve a purpose, especially for serious work.

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