updated 06:15 am EST, Sat February 26, 2011
Samsung Slider PC 7 set to lead the charge
Intel Oak-Trail-based tablets are expected to ship by March 30, according to a report. The first on the market is expected to be the Samsung Sliding PC 7, which Electronista was given a hands-on with at CES 2011 in early January. Other devices expected to follow the Windows 7, Atom Z600-powered Samsung hybrid include the Fujitsu's Stylistic Q550, the Motion CL900, a revamped ExoPC, Viliv X70, Ocosmos OCS1 and Lenovo's IdeaPad Slate. Windows 7 is expected to the principal OS for these devices at this time, although Android and MeeGo tablets based on the Oak-Trail platform are expected before the end of 2011.
The second-coming of Atom-powered tablets will be followed closely as the tablet space is currently dominated by devices equipped with ARM-based processors. The first generation of Atom tablets were unsuccessful, among them HP's Original Atom-based slates such as the HP Slate 500 underwhelmed with their performance suffering from poor battery life in particular, which was at least half as long lasting as ARM-based devices such as Apple's iPad at just five hours. The new single-core 1.5GHz Atom Z600 has a 3W TDP meaning that it can run without a fan, and should consume considerably less power than the previous generation Pine-Trail-based Atom tablets.
The Samsung Sliding PC 7 is also particularly important for Microsoft who worked very closely with Samsung to deliver a more optimal tablet experience for the touch-aware Windows 7 OS. Microsoft, which had pushed tablet-based notebooks for many years had to take a backseat and watch Apple launch the iPad which has taken the tablet segment by storm.