updated 01:45 pm EDT, Fri April 13, 2012
Windows 8 Intel tablets must be thin, long-lasting
Intel's Developer Forum in Beijing has slipped out a new set of guidelines for Intel-based Windows 8 tablets. The chip designer wants tablets based on its Atom Z2760 chip to largely fit in with a 10-inch, touch-only tablet or a 11-inch version with a keyboard, CNET saw in its copy of the hardware advice. All of the dimensions would be targeted at matching or beating the iPad, with weight under 1.5 pounds, thicknesses below 0.35 inches, and over none hours of at least theoretical battery life.
The semiconductor company also wanted 3G or 4G to be commonplace to let the tablets have always-on Internet access in Windows 8's Connected Standby mode, which periodically wakes up just long enough to get basic notifications and updates. Tablets would also ideally have NFC for payments and pairings as well as Wi-Fi Direct for media sharing.
None of the guidelines are hard requirements, unlike the tougher conditions Microsoft is known to be setting on ARM tablets. However, they show Intel hoping to get away from the conventional image of Intel tablets as thick, heavy, and short-lived. Many consider Intel's slowness to produce mobile-friendly chips, and Microsoft's unwillingness to quickly consider ARM chips, as ultimately easing the way for Apple's dominance of the tablet market.
Windows 8 is widely expected to come in or near October, and the hardware guidelines could change by the time it ships.