Intel and partners may be late to the tablet party, but they're here

Intel and hardware makers such as Dell, HP, Acer and Asus will launch their first major foray into the tablet market today -- more than two years after the introduction of Apple's iPad.

Intel Z2760 dual-core processor will go head to head with chips like Apple's A5X.
Intel Z2760 dual-core processor will go head to head with chips like Apple's A5X. Intel

Intel and its hardware partners will launch a broad attack on the tablet market today.

Standing alongside Intel at an event in San Francisco are executives from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and ZTE. Those companies are showcasing new Windows 8 tablets and convertible devices.

Many, if not most, of the devices have already been unveiled, such as HP's Envy x2, Dell's Latitude 10, and Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2.

All of the devices feature Intel's dual-core Z2760 "Clover Trail" (PDF) Atom Processor, a power-efficient system-on-a-chip that allows partners to build tablets as thin as 8.5mm and as light as 1.5 pounds.

Intel is claiming the chip provides long battery life -- over 10 hours of local HD video playback and over 3 weeks of standby time.

And the chipmaker is also touting Near Field Communication (NFC), which pairs devices with a quick tap. Intel's silicon also provides support for HD cameras (up to 8MP) Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G LTE.

Tablets and convertibles using the new Intel chip will come with the full version of Windows 8, which can run virtually anything a Windows 7 laptop can. This differs from tablets based on Windows RT: those devices cannot run so-called "legacy" Windows software.

Microsoft, Intel, and the PC crowd are late to the sub-two-pound, touch-centric tablet market. Apple launched its iPad in April of 2010 and holds the lion's share of the global tablet market. And Android tablet suppliers such as Samsung, Motorola, and Asus are already onto second and third generation devices.

Hewlett-Packard's Envy x2 'convertible' laptop uses Intel's new dual-core Clover Trail chip.
Hewlett-Packard's Envy x2 'convertible' laptop uses Intel's new dual-core Clover Trail chip. Hewlett-Packard
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