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Interested in Windows 8? Here’s a roundup of upcoming tablets

microsoft surface tablet

The sheer number of Windows 8 tablets set to launch in the next few months is staggering. We kept thinking we had finished the list, but went back to the drawing board once we found another hidden gem.

Throughout this list you’ll find tablets aimed at the mobile competition, enterprise users, and the larger consumer market. Every major PC manufacturer has brought something to the table. Whether Windows 8 ends up being a huge success or a major flop, nobody can say the operating system isn’t being fully supported by a huge amount of hardware.

Microsoft

microsoft surface windows rt
Microsoft Surface RT
OS: Windows RT
Screen: 10.6-inch ClearType 1366×768 pixel display, 16:9 ratio, 208 ppi
Specs: Nvidia Tegra 3+ processor, 32 or 64GB storage
Camera: “HD” cameras in front and back
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Price: $500 ($100 for TouchCover keyboard)

Description: The Surface tablets are proof that Microsoft is taking control of Windows 8 and its mobile counterpart, Windows Phone 8, by setting the bar for third-party manufacturers. The magnesium casing is sturdy and scratch-resistant and the HD display is covered in second-generation Gorilla Glass. The Touch Cover, though it hasn’t been available for testing, is arguably one of the most innovative accessories in the world of slates, building a full keyboard and trackpad into a screen cover.  

Microsoft Surface Pro 
OS: Windows 8 
Screen: 10.6-inch ClearType HD display, 16:9 ratio, 208 ppi
Specs: Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor, 64 or 128GB storage
Camera: “HD” cameras in front and back
Connectivity: 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi
Price: TBA 

Description: While the Microsoft Surface RT is saddled to a mobile-only version of Windows 8, with no access to the classic desktop and legacy applications, the Pro version comes with all the power and flexibility of a laptop. This comparison can be pushed even further when your Surface is hooked up to a monitor and wireless peripherals to become a true work station. Plus, it’s extremely easy on the eyes. Bravo, Microsoft. 

Dell 

Check out our full review of the Dell Latitude 10 tablet. 

Latitude 10 
OS: Windows 8 
Screen: 10 inches, 1366×768 pixels
Specs: Intel Clover Trail, 2GB RAM, 128GB storage
Camera: 8MP rear, 720p webcam front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, TBA broadband options
Price: TBA 

Description: Aimed at enterprise users, the Latitude 10 is a sturdy piece of hardware. Built from a rubberized metal, Dell’s latest tablet is in it for the long haul. It has a removable battery, four USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet port, and HDMI out. The Latitude also sports a fingerprint reader and an optional Wacom stylus. No doubt Dell is hoping business users will appreciate the Latitude’s wide viewing angles, ability to run legacy apps, and practical hardware. 

XPS 10
OS: Windows RT 
Screen: 10-inch display
Specs: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
Camera: TBA
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Price: TBA 

Description: The XPS 10 is a tablet first and a laptop hybrid second. The design of the tablet flows seamlessly into the keyboard dock, which also doubles the battery life; a popular feature it seems. In size it’s more of a netbook than a laptop, but the keyboard seems to be a respectable size with spacious keys and a generous trackpad. It’s clear that Dell is hoping to rope in the crowd of PC users looking for a less-business focused tablet compared with the Latitude 10. 

Lenovo 

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2ThinkPad Tablet 2
OS: Windows 8 
Screen: 10.1-inch IPS display, 1366×768 pixels
Specs: Intel Atom “Clover Trail” processor, 2GB RAM, 64GB storage
Camera: 8MP rear, 2MP front
Connectivity: HSPA+, 4G LTE (AT&T), Wi-Fi 
Price: $650, $800 with keyboard 

Description: A successor to the Android-powered ThinkPad, the second generation device is just one of Lenovo’s entries into the growing Windows 8 ecosystem. Like most of the tablets on this list, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 will have an optional keyboard dock similar to those available for tablets now. The drawback here is that the dock forces the tablet to sit at a fixed angle and can’t be closed like a laptop.

Lenovo IdeaTab LynxCheck out our full review of the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx tablet. 

IdeaTab Lynx
OS: Windows 8  
Screen: 11.6-inch IPS display, 1366×768 pixels
Specs: 1.8GHz “Clover Trail” Atom processor, 2GB RAM, 32 or 64GB storage
Camera: 5MP rear, 1.3MP front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Price: $600, $750 with keyboard 

Description: Unlike the more enterprise-focused ThinkPad Tablet 2, the Lynx is aimed squarely at the consumer market. It’s light enough that it left early reviewers feeling like they were holding something closer to a Kindle than the iPad. The keyboard dock is outfitted with high-end island-style keys. The battery life is nothing to sneeze at either. The Lynx is touting 8 hours of use that can be bumped up to 16 hours when used with the bendable keyboard dock. 

 

Sony 

Sony VAIO Tap 20VAIO Tap 20
OS: Windows RT or Windows 8 
Screen: 20 inches, 1600×900 pixels
Specs: Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, 8GB RAM, 750GB or 1TB storage
Camera: 1.3MP front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Price: $880

Description: Called a “tabletop” by Sony, the VAIO Tap 20 is geared towards the household PC market. It features family-friendly applications like Family Paint, an exclusive app that lets two people create virtual art together, and Fingertapps Organizer,  a collaborative calendar and scheduling app to keep everyone in sync. Though it may look like a touchscreen all-in-one, the Tap 20 can run on battery and be moved from room to room as needed. Game night will never be the same. 

Samsung 

Samsung ATIV TabATIV Tab
OS: Windows RT
Screen: 10.1-inch HD LCD display, 1366×768 pixels
Specs: 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, 32 or 64GB storage 
Camera: 5MP rear, 1.9MP front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Price: TBA 

Description: Seemingly based on the design of its Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung decided to try their hand at a tablet for Microsoft’s latest baby. The battery has been upgraded from the Galaxy Note, however, and will last even longer than before. The ATIV Tab also rejects the optional keyboards of the Smart PCs and runs on Windows RT so it will rely on the strength of Modern UI developers to create a compelling app ecosystem and convince consumers that Windows can be fun, as well as productive.  

ATIV Smart PCATIV Smart PC (Series 5)
OS: Windows 8 
Screen: 11.6 inch LCD display, 1366×768 pixels
Specs: Intel Atom “Clover Trail” processor, 2GB RAM, 128GB memory
Camera: 8MP rear, 2MP front
Connectivity: 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi
Price: TBA 

Description: The ATIV Smart PC and its souped up brother are Samsung’s first tablets designed with the full Windows 8 experience in mind. Like its infamous smartphone-tablet hybrid, the Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung has chosen to place its Smart PCs firmly on the line separating tablet from laptop. The Smart PC also comes preloaded with Samsung’s signature S Note apps that work with, you guessed it, the S Pen for all sorts of tasks that a finger is just too fat for. 

ATIV Smart PC Pro (Series 7)
OS: Windows 8 
Screen: 11.6-inch HD LCD display, 1980×1020 pixels
Specs: Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD 
Camera: 5MP rear, 2MP front
Connectivity: 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi
Price: TBA 

Description: Following the emerging pattern, Samsung made sure to offer a solution for users with serious productivity needs that still want to try out a new form factor. The Smart PC Pro caters to a more power-hungry audience and amps up the processing power with some seriously intense specs for a tablet. If you’re worried about the latch Samsung uses to fuse tablet with keyboard, review units seem to be solid; remaining attached even after being shaken quite vigorously. 

HP

ElitePad 900ElitePad 900
OS: Windows 8 
Screen: 10.1 inch display, 1280×800 pixels
Specs: 1.8GHz Intel Atom “Clover Trail” processor, 64GB SSD
Camera: 8MP rear, 1080p HD front
Connectivity: 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi
Price: TBA 

Description: Like Dell, HP wants to make sure its loyal base of enterprise users can access the newest iteration of Windows. To accommodate a business environment, the ElitePad 900 features wide viewing angles. It also has built-in security with HP Client Security 10, full of applications for managing passwords, encrypting drives, and easily accessing BIOS settings. The ElitePad 900 has various peripherals available as well, like a bluetooth keyboard, stylus, and docking station. 

Envy X2
OS: Windows 8
Screen: 11.6 inch IPS display, 1366×768 pixels
Specs: 1.8GHz Intel Atom “Clover Trail” processor, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD
Camera: 8MP rear, 1080p HD front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Price: TBA 

Description: According to HP’s website, the Envy X2 is “the laptop that doubles as a tablet.” It’s a phrase that will become all too familiar with the surge of keyboard-docking Windows 8 tablets set to flood the market. The Envy X2 features a gorgeous, brushed metal chassis and will apparently pack some hefty battery power. Like other PC-makers, HP has added an additional battery in the keyboard to double the use time and keep you further away from an outlet. 

Acer 

Iconia W510 
OS: Windows 8 
Screen: 10.1-inch IPS display, 1366×768 pixels
Specs: Intel Atom “Clover Trail” processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage
Camera: 8MP rear, 2MP front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Price: $500 for 32GB, $600 for 64GB, $750 for 64GB and keyboard dock 

Description: The build quality of the Iconia W510 is questionable. Ars Technica received a review unit that wouldn’t power on and had a cracked hinge. With prices comparable to Lenovo’s Windows 8 devices, it seems like a recipe for disaster. At least the Iconia’s design makes it stand out a little from the competitors. Acer’s decided to pack a secondary battery in the keyboard dock as well, boosting battery life from 9 hours to a substantial 18 hours.   

Iconia W700
OS: Windows 8
Screen: 11.6 inch IPS display, 1920×1080 pixels
Specs: Ivy Bridge Core i3 or i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 64 or 128GB SSD
Camera: 5MP rear, 720p front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Price: $800 with keyboard stand 

Description: The Iconia W700 aims to fill a separate void than its cheaper partner-in-crime. The W700 is more tablet-desktop, rather than the popular tablet-laptop hybrid. The cradling station acts as a charging dock, includes 3 USB ports, Micro-HDMI, and can be set at a 70-degree or 20-degree angle. For comparison’s sake, it’s more aligned with the HP ElitePad 900 and Latitude 10. But we have to admit the W700 looks very unbalanced in that L-shaped dock. 

Asus 

Vivo Tab RT
OS: Windows RT
Screen: 10.1-inch Super IPS+ display, 1366×768 pixels
Specs: Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB SSD
Camera: 8MP rear with LED flash, 2MP front
Connectivity: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi
Price: TBA 

Description: Based on specs, the Vivo Tab RT is clearly Asus’ entry level Windows 8 tablet. Vivo stems from the Latin verb meaning “to live”, a banal marketing ploy Asus may be regretting after Samsung’s ATIV moniker. Where the Vivo Tab RT suffers is in build quality when compared to its higher-spec’d older sibling. The actual tablet is less refined and the keyboard dock is made from plastic, complete with a slight rattle while typing.  

Asus Vivo Tab

Vivo Tab
OS: Windows 8 
Screen: 11.6-inch Super IPS+ display, 1366×768 pixels
Specs: Intel Atom “Clover Trail” processor, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD
Camera: 8MP rear with LED flash, 2MP front
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 
Price: TBA 

Description: The Vivo Tab offers the user the full Windows 8 experience, legacy apps and all. Once docked, the Vivo Tab RT could be mistaken for a full laptop with even weight distribution, a solid keyboard, and premium build quality. 64GB of storage is probably not enough for the average media consumer, but it’s not crippling. It would be nice to see some more storage there, though. The Vivo Tab also supports Wacom technology and can mimic the S-Pen benefits of Samsung’s hardware. 

Asus Transformer Book

Asus Transformer Book
OS: Windows 8 
Screen: 11.6, 13, or 14-inch HD IPS display
Specs: Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB RAM
Camera: 5MP rear, front-facing webcam
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 
Price: TBA

Description: The Transformer Book is Asus’ most powerful Windows 8 tablet, packing the punch of an ultrabook rather than the slap of a tablet. The screen sizes are much more practical for everyday use as well, capping out at a decent 14 inches. The aluminum construction doesn’t hurt either, especially paired with a full-sized and backlit keyboard. We are missing a few details about the device, like storage sizes (though we know it will be packing SSD option) and pixel density, but we know enough to be impressed. 

All in all, PC manufacturers have outdone themselves and seem eager to show off the touch-centric side of Windows 8. Whether you need a tablet computer for business or pleasure, there’s a device on this list that will fit your niche, whichever it may be. A lack of hardware is definitely not a problem for Microsoft right now but it will be interesting to see which devices rise to the top. Do you have a favorite? Or would you prefer a true hybrid or more conventional laptop to run Windows 8 on?