updated 12:35 pm EST, Wed November 9, 2011
Samsung to use year-old tablet for Windows 8 intro
Samsung's first Windows 8 tablet will just be an update to the Series 7 tablet it launched this year, the company's PC marketing executive Uhm Kyu Ho said in an interview Wednesday. He explained to Bloomberg that it would "probably" be an updated version of the 11.6-inch slate, which originally shipped with Windows 7. He expected it to ship in the second half of 2012, giving a clue as to Windows 8's release schedule.
Existing Series 7 owners using Windows 7 should get an update, Samsung's PC group head Nam Seong Woo said. He didn't say whether this would be a special deal or just typical Windows upgrade pricing.
The Windows 8 developer preview version of the Series 7 may be a clue as to the features. Apart from the OS, its main upgrades were just to take advantage of Windows 8 features, such as more advanced motion sensors and its use of UEFI firmware instead of a legacy BIOS. Samsung is likely to upgrade to Intel's Ivy Bridge processors and make logical upgrades to the RAM and solid-state drive.
If a literal refresh of the Series 7, the Windows 8 model may see Samsung struggle to compete in the tablet space. At 1.9 pounds, half an inch thick, and a maximum seven hours of battery life, it would be bulkier and shorter-lived than the iPad and some Android tablets. At $1,100, it would also be more than double the price of the iPad and most 10-inch Android tablets.