I’m in London attending distributor training by MSFT. One of the presentations was on Windows 8 devices and the presenter had 2 of the forthcoming tablets at hand. After the presentation, he invited us up to have some hands on and play.
The Samsung ATIV Tab is slim and feather light, being fairly similar to an iPad 2 in feel. The battery had a charge and we got to play. It was snappy too. I’d be happy to own one, and I might just do that – I did sell my iPad a few months ago. And good news for customers, Microsoft has a policy on OEM junkware so preloaded software on Windows RT will be tightly controlled just like it is on Windows Phone. The device has USB, SD, and Micro HDMI expansion, and possibly more.
The presenter also had the HP ElitePad 900 that was only announced yesterday. This is based on the new Intel Atom. First off, yes it is an Intel based machine, but this is nothing like the Build or Samsung Series 7 slate. Very honestly, it was about the same thickness as the original iPad and my non-calibrated hands didn’t feel much difference in weight to an original iPad. It felt solid too, as it needs to be for it’s targeted enterprise market (for 3 year support contracts). The HP ElitePad 900 device has no expansion ports but does have a docking port. This slots into the “jackets” such as a the expansion jacket that was on hand that does have HDMI (full size), USB, etc.
The Samsung ATIV Tab was a very nice machine. Everyone wanted pictures that showed the thckness of it, and wanted to quickly switch apps, surf the net and pinch zoom, all going away quite happy. And the universal comment on the HP was that it felt good in the hand. Only 24 days until we get to try these things (ElitePad 900 will be via business channel only) in the retail outlets.
Oh – I did ask and the new UI is now just the “Windows UI”. It’s not modern, or any other guff. The apps are called Windows Store Apps now.