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.