HP working on Windows 8 tablets using Intel, ARM chips: Sources

Hewlett-Packard is working on both Intel- and ARM-based tablets and hybrids, a source told CNET.

HP Slate 2
HP Slate 2 Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard has Windows 8 tablets and hybrid devices in the works, sources told CNET. This follows comments this week by CEO Meg Whitman, who signaled that HP is readying a bevy of Windows 8 products for the fourth quarter.

Those tablets, which are either being considered or being readied for commercial release, include two designs based on Intel's next-generation Atom processor and one using a Qualcomm ARM processor, said an industry source familiar with the designs.

HP's enthusiasm around Windows 8 products is no secret. CEO Meg Whitman made it amply clear this week during the company's earnings conference call. "We have a product line lined up in PSG (Personal Systems Group) on Windows on X86. We believe we're going to be well-positioned for holiday on Windows 8 X86," she said, referring to Intel's X86 chip design.

And the next day at a tech conference, Whitman said HP would release a Windows 8 tablets using both Intel and ARM chips, though no more details were provided.

One of the two Intel-based designs is a consumer hybrid device, according to the source, who had seen a prototype. Hybrid implies a design that combines aspects of both a tablet and laptop. The other device, not a hybrid, is for corporate customers. Both are expected to use Intel's upcoming Clover Trail Atom processor--Intel's first 32-nanometer dual-core Atom chip.

A third device is built around a Qualcomm processor. Presumably, that would be a Snapdragon processor, which implements a unique Qualcomm design with roots in the ARM chip architecture.

Earlier this week, Whitman told The Wall Street Journal that though a Windows 8 tablet on X86 is slated for the December holiday, that's not necessarily the case for ARM. "Windows 8 on ARM. It's not immediately clear when that will launch," Whitman said.

Separately, Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch, said he knows of one HP Windows 8 tablet in the works. That's a 10.1-inch design boasting a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. That device is slated for mass production in the July timeframe, according to Shim.

HP declined to comment.

Update, 2 p.m. PT: adds discussion of Whitman's comments about ARM.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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