Microsoft Shows Off Quad-Core Tablet At Tech-Ed NZ Conference

At the Tech-Ed 2011 NZ event going on in New Zealand, Microsoft’s Jeff Johnson and Patrick Hevesi showed off what was reportedly a quad-core powered, Windows slate / tablet device. There seems to be no question that the device was in fact a quad-core tablet, but there are conflicting reports as to whether it was running Windows 7 or the upcoming, more tablet-friendly Windows 8.

Current scuttlebutt seems to indicate that more details regarding this quad-core device will be revealed during the BUILD Windows Conference that will take place in Anaheim, CA September 13-16. According to the conference’s website, “BUILD is a new event that shows modern hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of Windows. Learn how to work with the all new touch-centric user experience to create fast, fluid, and dynamic applications that leverage the power and flexibility of the core of Windows, used by more than a billion people around the world.”

Rumor has it, there is a possibility that some attendees of the event may leave with the quad-core slate, along copies of Windows 8 beta code, in an effort to spur development for the platform. Quotes suggesting that attendees would leave with the slate have since been removed, however. So consider that one a long shot.

The Quad-Core Slate Shown Off By Microsoft - Image Source: SmarterGeek.Info

We reached out to NVIDIA to see if the device being shown was based on their quad-core Kal-El chip and were told they could not comment on unannounced devices. While all indications are that NVIDIA’s Kal-El will hit the scene first, Ti and Qualcomm both have quad-core chips in development as well, so without confirmation it’s impossible to say whose chip powered the device.

Some simple detective work comparing the button and vent styles on the tablet MS showed off didn’t reveal much either. None of the tablet’s we’ve reviewed here at HotHardware have similar button and vent styling. Other design cues, however, like the flat edges with sharp curves seem to look most like the Asus Transformer. Rumor has it, the next-gen Transformer will be the first tablet to sport NVIDIA’s Kal-El chip, but we don’t have firm confirmation of that either. Given the close relationship between Asus and NVIDIA though, and the current Transformer’s relative success, it’s wouldn’t be a stretch to see the two companies working closely together on next-gen parts.