Nvidia Kal-El tablet running Windows 8 spotted at Build

We knew Microsoft was going to give away a tablet to Build attendees. When it was teased the week before the conference, folks thought maybe the mystery tablet was packing Nvidia’s quad-core Kal-El processor. Instead, it turned out to be the Samsung Series 7 tablet running an Intel Core i5 and the Windows 8 developer preview.

But Nvidia’s tablet did eventually make an appearance at Build, and it was indeed running a Kal-El processor. Unfortunately, a look-but-don’t-touch policy was in effect.

While that meant no juicy specifics about the Nvidia tablet were uncovered by those in attendance, a company rep did offer one very interesting tease. Nvidia claims that tablets running its chips will see a significant boost in battery performance over current-gen tablets — and he was talking days, not hours.

Kal-El will offer quite the one-two punch in terms of performance and efficiency if that’s true. Nvidia’s already shown what the chip can do in terms of gaming, so now all we need are some concrete benchmarks that can attest to its endurance.

There’s also been some speculation that Windows on ARM might be Metro-only — that the Windows 7 style desktop mode won’t be an option on systems built with chips like Kal-El. Microsoft has, however, already demoed exactly that. In very early public shows of Windows 8, the company fired up Office and printed a document from Word on an ARM-based system.

The Windows 8 Metro interface is certainly better suited to touch interaction, but upcoming ARM-based tablets, notebooks, and desktops will still have a traditional desktop to fall back on when required.

More at Engadget

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