Skip to main content

Intel wants Windows 10 tablets to be just as thin as the iPad Pro

Huawei Matebook
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Intel wants hybrid tablets to get thinner, down to 0.27 inches to be exact, and has advice for OEMs for getting there. The company gave recommendations at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Lilputing is reporting.

OEMs should consider ditching the fan, using MicroSD ports instead of full-sized ones, replacing USB Type-A with the smaller USB Type-C, and putting the circuit board in the middle of the tablet instead of on the sides, to save on internal cables.

All that could get things down to 0.27, but the current sweet spot, according to an Intel slide, is 0.31 to 0.37 inches.


A quick look at tablets we’ve recently reviewed suggests this is accurate:

The Acer Switch Alpha 12 falls outside Intel’s sweet spot, and from experience we can tell you that it feels bulky. That tablet sports a Core i5 processors, and uses liquid cooling, which of necessity takes up more space. The Matebook, meanwhile, is super thin and light, but is a little short on power, especially considering the price point. Occupying the Goldilocks space outlined by Intel are the Surface Pro 4 and the ThinkPad X1. We feel like both these machines managed to offer a considerable amount of computing heft without sacrificing portability.


The goal, then, is for devices like these to eventually fit into the current form factor of the Matebook and the iPad Pro. A few of the suggestions outlined by Intel include:

  • Switching to OLED displays, instead of cheaper, thicker LCDs
  • Single-sided circuit boards
  • Reduce I/O connectors, using USB-C instead
  • Solder cards like Wi-Fi into place, instead of offering replaceable parts

What does this all mean for users? That tablets are going to get thinner, but possibly harder to repair. It’s a trade-off for sure, but for now it seems like one the market demands.

It will be interesting to see if more OEMs manage to hit 0.27 inches without compromising power, and we’ll let you know when that happens.

Editors' Recommendations

Justin Pot
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Justin's always had a passion for trying out new software, asking questions, and explaining things – tech journalism is the…
I’m still waiting for Apple to fix the Mac Mini’s major problem
The M1-powered Mac Mini.

As a desktop machine, my M1 Mac Mini is absolutely great. It’s small enough to pop into a backpack, but capable enough to handle my workloads with ease. Yet there’s one problem nagging at me that makes me worried for the future of the Mac Mini line -- and it likely won’t be fixed any time soon.

That’s because, while the Mac Mini is ideal for most of my work, there are times when I wish it had a bit more power. That doesn’t come up often -- it’s mainly when I’m playing and reviewing Mac games. I’ll often have to turn the settings down lower than I’d like, which is perhaps unsurprising given that the M1’s integrated graphics were part of Apple’s first stab at its own desktop chip.

Read more
First OnePlus tablet tipped for a 2023 launch to take on the iPad
OnePlus Pad 5G

OnePlus’ plans to launch a tablet are definitely no secret. We have seen a bunch of leaks in the past year or so that hint toward its imminent launch. Now, tipster Max Jambor has revealed that the tablet is in development and will be launched next year. The company will make its foray into the tablet market with this rumored offering called the "OnePlus Pad." Since the company competes closely with Apple’s smartphones, there’s a possibility that the OnePlus Pad may take direct aim at Apple's iPads.

Apart from smartphones, OnePlus’s portfolio includes smart TVs and wearables. With this move, OnePlus might be looking to capture the tablet market, where there is relatively less competition. Earlier reports claimed that the tablet would be launched in 2022, however, that didn’t come to fruition, and now we are looking at a 2023 launch. Jambor’s tweet did not reveal an exact launch timeline, so when the tablet will arrive exactly is still unknown.

Read more
Which iPad tablets are compatible with iPadOS 16?
An iPad using Stage Manager in iPadOS 16.

Apple's iPadOS 16 has finally arrived after the company delayed it for a few weeks to ensure it was truly ready for prime time. As a result, it skipped over version 16.0 and went straight to iPadOS 16.1 to match the corresponding iOS 16.1 release that came out at the same time for iPhone users. Nevertheless, it packs in most of the new collaboration and multitasking capabilities that Apple showed off at its June Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). However, we'll have to wait for iPadOS 16.2 before we see Apple's new Freeform collaboration app.

As implied by the identical version numbers, iPadOS 16.1 brings many of the best iOS 16.1 features from the iPhone over to Apple's tablet, including shared photo libraries for families, powerful live text and visual look-up features, and enhanced messaging and sharing capabilities. However, iPadOS 16 also gets its own unique set of productivity tools to edge Apple's tablet closer to a more laptop-like experience.

Read more