Microsoft releases Windows 8 to manufacturers, new tablets and laptops on the horizon
Microsoft announced that Windows 8 has finally reached the RTM stage, which means that the company is releasing the final version to manufacturers. Given that the operating system is due to launch in late October, this release comes right on time. And soon consumers will see the fruits of this labor.
We already know about some Windows 8 devices that will launch at or around the same time as the OS. The likes of Samsung, ASUS, and Lenovo have been upfront about their upcoming devices. Others we know of through leaks.
Personally, I’m most excited about the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. Lenovo showed this bad boy off at CES to great fanfare. The 13.3-inch is slick, but I’m still hoping they’ll bring out a smaller version (maybe 11.6). Lenovo reps said that the hardware was ready, all they were waiting on was Microsoft to finalize Windows 8. Fire up the production lines!
On the business side, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 is a Windows device instead of Android like the first generation. Like the first gen, it will work with an active digitizer pen and have a very ThinkPad-esque keyboard accessory.
Earlier this summer I got a sneak peek at Samsung’s 11.6-inch Win8 offering, the Series 5 Hybrid. This tablet/notebook hybrid with a detachable keyboard dock and pen input capability. I like that it’s light and how the connection between tablet and keyboard is secure, yet it’s still easy to attach and detach. Can’t wait to see the final build.
ASUS has a similar concept in the Transformer Book series, which will come in 11.6, 13 and 14-inch sizes with full HD displays. These tablet hybrids will run the “normal” version of Win8 since they include Intel processors.
Acer brings the Iconia brand back to Windows land with the W510 and W700. The former is a 10-inch tablet with a Transformer-esque keyboard dock. As a fan of netbooks, I’m really glad to see the 10-inch form factor returning. And since Win8 can do both desktop and Metro mode, the tablet will act like a real laptop when docked.
And, of course, there’s the Microsoft Surface, the Windows 8 tablet made by the company itself. The first iteration of this 10.6-inch tablet will run Windows RT, a special version made for ARM processors. The Surface intrigues me because I’m curious whether Microsoft can pull off something this cool and have it work. I love the kickstand, the keyboard/magnetic cover, and the sleek lines.
Which Windows 8 device are you most looking forward to?