updated 04:50 pm EDT, Wed June 2, 2010
Intel puts x86 tablets off to 2011
Intel's ultramobile VP Anand Chandrasekher dashed hopes of cutting-edge x86 tablets in the near future by warning those at Computex that tablets based on the Atom Z600 likely won't ship this year. He put the launches of touch-only Z600 tablets between six to 12 months away. Smartphones wouldn't arrive until even late with the first half of 2011 as the likely target.
Chandrasekher didn't explain the delay, but it may stem from hardware support in operating systems. Android supports Intel processors but has had less active help and optimization than ARM. Intel's collaboration with Nokia, MeeGo, has only just had an early release and may show first on ARM hardware rather than an Atom.
The delay gives ARM at least a half-year and may help Apple the most, as it will have at least a half year to build iPad sales before the Z600 is used. Atom tablets already exist today but, because they use older-generation hardware, often have short battery lives and lack hardware acceleration for HD video without companion chips.