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Intel-based tablets to launch in 2012

Tablets will run on the new Windows 8 platform, have better processing capabilities

2012 will see several new Intel-based tablet devices being introduced into the market.
2012 will see several new Intel-based tablet devices being introduced into the market.

A number of Intel-based tablets featuring Windows 8 will be launched in 2012, according to Samir Al Schamma, general manager Middle East and North Africa, Intel.

"Tablets started in 2010 and really picked up in 2011, although it the bulk of it does still seem to be iPad focused, we did see some Android tablets coming up and I think it is to be seen where that will go. There will be a bunch of Intel-based tablets in 2012, although there are already a few in the market. With Windows 8, we expect the user experience will be much more exciting so we are looking forward to the Windows 8-based tablets," he said.

According to Intel, the combination of the high-performance Intel Atom processors and the new Windows 8 platform will allow for more applications and usage models that today's tablets probably could not handle.

Al Schamma said that tablets, as well as netbooks will continue to be secondary devices for the majority of users in 2012, despite becoming more powerful.

"I do not think tablets could become a primary device, ultimately it has to do with the screen size and the form factor, and let's face it, a tablet does not have a screen size that you can work on comfortably all day. You are still going to have to attach a screen, a keyboard, add more power to it and then it is a laptop," he said.

The development of cloud is also helping spread the popularity of tablet devices as users do not need to store data on the tablet itself, however, Al Schamma said that the average corporate user will not be satisfied with purely a tablet.

"I think it is a perfect content consumption device, but if you are getting into creating content, whether it is PowerPoint or Photoshop, that is where they do not have the power or the right form factor. You pick up any of the tablets today and open up an Excel spreadsheet with 1,000 records and see how long it takes to open it up. It is unacceptable to a normal user. I am not going to sit there for a minute and a half waiting for it to open the spreadsheet not to mention then manipulating data. It is just not that practical, but for surfing the web and getting information, it is perfect. Today when I go home I don't open my laptop," he said.

Despite tablets being mostly geared towards the consumer entertainment market, enterprises are beginning to consider using the devices for specific verticals, such as point-of-sales.

Al Schamma said that he is not sure if there will ever be a single device that will combine mobile phone, laptop and tablet capabilities, as well as enterprise and consumer applications, but he said that there will definitely be more convergence between these devices in 2012.