Microsoft details Windows 8 tablet hardware requirements

It looks like Microsoft actually let the Windows 8 tablet hardware requirements hit the public last month but I must have missed it, so let’s take a look at the minimum we’ll see from upcoming Windows 8 tablets.

First of all, I think we’re going to see a lot of these things. We were just at CES 2012 and the glut of Android tablets was a bit less than last year, as many major device makers were waiting for the Windows 8 software to come out. Sure, it’s not going to be free like Android but Windows 8 has the ability to be instantly appealing to mainstream consumers because it’s Windows – love it or hate it, people know what Windows is. Now that it will be compatible with ARM chips, we can expect a variety of tablets to hit the market.

According to WithinWindows, these Windows 8 tablets will all have to have a 5-point digitizer for input, NFC “touch marks,” five hardware buttons (Power, Rotation lock, Windows Key, Volume up, Volume down), a button combo for the CTRL+ALT+DEL command, 2 second resume (for Intel chips) and no reboot driver upgrades. We can also expect:

  • Storage: At least 10gb free space after the out-of-box experience completes
  • System firmware: UEFI
  • Networking: WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0 + LE (low energy)
  • Graphics: Direct3D 10 device w/ WDDM 1.2 driver
  • Resolution: 1366×768
  • Touch support: At least 5 touch points, must pass all tests
  • Camera: 720p
  • Ambient Light Sensor: 1-30k lux capable w/ dynamic range of 5-60K
  • Magnetometer
  • Accelerometer: 3 axes w/ data rates >= 50Hz
  • Gyroscope
  • USB 2.0: At least one controller and exposed port
  • Speakers

Microsoft is taking a similar approach to its Windows Phone by laying out the hardware requirements for tablets but if you’re looking to use Windows 8 on a desktop, you should be fine on any setup that can use Windows 7. These sound like decent tablet specs, what do you think?

[Via Engadget, WithinWindows]

  • Gregory C Newman

    Man OH Man no wonder some OEM tablet makers didn’t like these specs. their great for 9 inch and above Tablet computer but most 7 or 8 inch tablet computers are left to run Andriod. this is a mistake because I donot know if any of the OEM’s can makes a cheap 9 inch tablet with these
    Specs. DAMN  it looks like Microsoft wont be able to bring a cheap Ipad Killer to the Market place
    I’ll bet Microsoft will back off these specks because the PRICE of the 7 and 8 inch  tablet computers  fits the price range of a LOT OF PEOPLE. I think it is a mistake for Microsoft to fail to have Windows on these smaller tablet computers but at least a Microsoft tablet computer will have good looking graphics, movies and ect.  

  • Wp7 is a Joke

  • MrWindows

    I think these are pretty decent entry-level specs. Microsoft wants manufacturers to equal or preferably exceed these specifications. Everything in here builds upon what are already the specs for Windows Phone 7, which maintains a common code base for the App Marketplace. There is nothing here that makes it especially cost prohibitive as Mr. Newman pointed out. Microsoft doesn’t need to compete with the $79-199 Android tablets that make up the bulk of the 7″-9″ market. That’s not the space they want to play in. They want to compete in the midrange market where the iPad dominates now and professional markets where the full breadth of the Windows application ecosystem can be brought to bear. Apple is being forced to move downmarket on price because of Android, but the next iPad will be a significant upgrade to the specs and capabilities. And that’s precisely the Windows 8 tablet sweet spot. Compare the specs above with the rumored specs of the iPad 3, and you’ll see a much closer comparison. Microsoft is mandating an HD 720p user experience, as that will open up true HD to the users, not the reformatted, cropped version Apple and most of the Android makers present. The graphics requirement is also inline with Windows gaming standards, so expect more than just the XBOX live titles to be available. The ULV Intel chips have this graphics capability built-in, so the footprint of the chips will be fairly small. I suspect there will be some customized ARM cores integrating much of the same circuitry aas well as the support chips. It’s going to get real interesting.

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