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Intel posts holiday 'Buying Guide' for Windows 8.1 tablets

Intel posts a new holiday buying guide that focuses on some of the newest Windows 8.1 tablets.

Dell Venue 8 Pro runs the full version of Windows 8.1 and sports a quad-core Z3000 Intel chip.  The price is a reasonable $300.
Dell Venue 8 Pro runs the full version of Windows 8.1 and sports a quad-core Z3000 Intel chip. The price is a reasonable $300. Intel

Intel is trying to give a much-needed boost to Windows 8.1 tablets with a new holiday "Buying Guide."

Front and center are tablets (PDF) like the Dell Venue 8 Pro, HP Omni 10, and Lenovo Miix 2.

All of the tablets in the guide use new Intel Atom Z3000 quad-core "Bay Trail" processors.

The 8-inch Dell Venue (see CNET's hands-on here) is one of the highest profile Windows 8.1 tablets to date because it boasts decent specs with a small price tag of $299 -- at least for a full-blown Windows 8.1 device.

Those specs include a quad-core Z3740D Bay Trail processor, an 8-inch 1,280x800-pixel-resolution IPS screen, 2GB of RAM, a full-size SD card slot, Micro-USB charging, and weight of about 0.9 pounds.

Though a resolution of 1,280x800 may seem inadequate compared with the 2,048x1,536 resolution of the 7.9-inch iPad Mini Retina, on an 8-inch screen it can more than enough for many people. (That comes to 188 pixels per inch for the Dell for those keeping score).

The $299 base model comes with 32GB of RAM. Up that to 64GB and the price is $349.

And, remember, this isn't Window RT 8.1, this is the real deal that runs any Windows application a laptop can.

Next up is the HP Omni 10, which recently became available at the Microsoft Store.

Specs for the Omni 10 include a 1,920x1,200 resolution 10.1-inch display (which comes to 224 pixels per inch), an Intel Z3770 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, Micro HDMI port, 32GB of storage, a Micro SD card reader, and a weight of 1.4 pounds.

(Note that all of the Windows 8 tablets covered here include an SD slot to expand storage beyond 32GB, which may be limiting for some users.)

The Omni is priced at $399.

Finally, there's the Lenovo Miix 2, with specs similar to the Dell Venue 8 Pro, including an 8-inch 1,280x800 display, 2GB RAM, 32GB of storage, and a Micro SD slot.

The Lenovo is listed at $299.

Intel also put 2-in-1 hybrids on the buying guide -- but those have already received lots of attention.

HP Omni 10.
HP Omni 10. Microsoft