Despite Surface and Windows RT, Windows 8 Slate PCs get boost from Samsung

At IFA in Berlin, Germany yesterday, Samsung officially took the wraps off of its new Windows-powered slate PCs, the Series 5 and Series 7, which, like Samsung's Android tablets, incorporate a lot of modifications directly from the South Korean consumer electronics leader.

The Samsung Series 7 Slate is configured with an Intel Core i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM, with a 128GB SSD and has a suggested retail price of $1,199.

The Series 5 Slate is equipped with an Intel "two-watt processor," 2GB of RAM, and has 64GB of solid state storage with a suggested retail price of $649, and Samsung's clamshell keyboard dock tacks on an additional hundred dollars. Both will be available on October 26 of this year.

The hardware, it seems, is powerful for a mobile tablet, yet modest for a full-on Windows PC. This is the strange nature of Windows 8 and Windows RT, and by extension "slates" versus "mobile tablets." At this point, you have the exact same form factor, but because of their processor architecture, they have two different hardware sets for effectively the same user experience. This can be seen in the 10.1" ATIV Tab running Windows RT, which reportedly has a 1.5 GHz dual-core ARM processor and 32 GB or 64 GB of storage, but has not yet been announced.

Possibly to mitigate this, Samsung has added a package of its own software to the Windows 8 Slate PCs sweetening up their functionality somewhat. This includes the S Pen stylus used in Samsung's Galaxy Note family of products which offers 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, and Samsung's Media Hub for connecting to content services.

We called Samsung several times yesterday to find out more about the purported "S Launcher" Start Menu that was discovered in Samsung's all-in-one desktop PCs, and whether they are present in the slate PCs. However, as of press time, they still had not given us any solid information about its presence or the story of its development. We will update when we learn more.

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