There’s no shortage of 2-in-1 tablets featuring detachable keyboards. But Intel wants to make it easy for Chinese PC makers to create new models, so the company is updating its reference designs for 2016.
The chip maker recommends using low-power Intel Core M3 Skylake processors, screen sizes ranging from 9.7 inches to 12.5 inches, and heat sinks and case materials designed to dissipate heat so that the tablets can be fanless.
What’s new is that the reference design also includes suggestions for USB Type-C connectors and cameras that support Microsoft’s Windows Hello authentication features.
The addition of USB 3.1 Type-C enables tablet owners to use the same port to plug in a power adapter, external display, flash drive, keyboard, mouse, game controller, or other accessory.
As for the cameras, Intel’s new design recommends USB or MIPI cameras with IR sensors and IR LEDs which can be used for facial recognition, allowing you to login to a Windows 10 PC or to apps or websites by looking at the camera.
The reference design gives tablet makers a lot of leeway. Devices can have anywhere from 1GB to 8GB of RAM, between 32GB and 256GB of eMMC 5.0 or M.2 SSD storage, and “soft” keyboard covers like the detachable covers used by the Microsoft Surface line of tablets, or “hard” covers like the Asus Transformer Book line of covers which weigh more and attach firmly to the tablet to turn it into a notebook.
Intel does recommend that most systems should have 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1.