Will AMD Be The Tortoise That Wins the Tablet Race?
This week at Computex, AMD finally went ahead and talked about their plans to start putting their chips inside of tablets. There has been a lot of speculation about when AMD would finally jump onboard the tablet bandwagon, so the announcement wasn’t too much of a surprise.
The first tablets to be running on the AMD HD Tablet Platform is the MSI WindPad 110W, which runs on the Windows 7 OS. The 110W packs in AMD’s Brazos dual core processor with an AMD Radeon HD 6250 display chip, 2GB of DDR ram, WiFi, a G Sensor, an ALS light sensor, and an SSD hard drive with up to 64GB of memory, a 6 hour plus battery life and a total weight of 850 grams. This battery life is also promised to be the longest of any tablet running Windows. The chances are that the MSI WindPad 110W is not going to be popular with consumers, but rather it will be more appropriate for businesses and enterprises. That said, the AMD chip inside of it is more about thinking ahead – to Windows 8.
The competition in the tablet market is getting out of control, so you have to wonder how AMD plans to take a bite out of this market-share – especially when they are so late to the game. The answer here can be found in how their Z series of chips are made for tablets. The Z series, aren’t just processors, but they are low powered APUs which combine the processor and GPU onto a single chip for extra multimedia and gaming performance. That means that the tablet has the graphics prowess that is comparable to a discrete graphics card. The Z series supports smooth streaming HD videos, Adobe Flash 10.2 acceleration, Internet Explorer 9, HTML 5 acceleration, DirectX 11 enabled graphics, support for external monitors, and accelerated apps in Windows.
Microsoft’s presentation at AllThingsD has proven to us that Windows 8 is turning out to be a totally different beast from its predecessor. It’s being rebuilt from the ground-up to accommodate touch screen devices like tablets. AMD is definitely thinking ahead to Windows 8 tablets which are going to be able to fully utilize their APU. At the end of the day, AMD may have been late to the tablet party, but there is a lot of promise in what lies ahead for their Z series. Especially if Windows 8 takes off on tablets.