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Toshiba nixes Windows 8 'RT' tablet, HP doubtful

Toshiba will pass on an RT Windows 8 tablet and opt for an Intel-based version, as Hewlett-Packard is expected to do.

Asus' Windows RT Tablet 600.
Asus' Windows RT Tablet 600.

Toshiba will join Hewlett-Packard in passing on the first round of tablets based on the RT versions of Windows 8.

This follows the confirmation Monday from Microsoft that Dell, Samsung, and Lenovo will debut tablets and/or convertibles (Asus has already announced its) based on the version of the Windows 8 that runs on ARM chips.

That RT version cannot run the vast library of software written for Intel-based "x86" PCs, though it will have a version of Microsoft Office.

"Toshiba has decided not to introduce Windows RT models due to delayed components that would make a timely launch impossible," Toshiba said in a statement provided to CNET. "For the time being, Toshiba will focus on bringing Windows 8 products to market. We will continue to look into the possibility of Windows RT products in the future while monitoring market conditions."

It's not clear if the "delayed components" is the Texas Instruments processor that Toshiba was slated to use. Toshiba would not confirm this when asked.

And Hewlett-Packard has been a no-show in the list of planned RT devices for months now. Though, like Toshiba, HP is expected to go ahead with an Intel-based tablet.

Most Intel-based tablets are expected to use the chipmaker's "Clover Trail" system-on-a-chip (SoC), which is a power-efficient family of x86 processors.

Microsoft's Surface tablets will come in both RT and Intel versions. RT Surface will be introduced on October 26, while the Intel-based Surface will be rolled out in early 2013 -- that will use a more powerful Intel i series chip, the same kind used in ultrabooks.