Lenovo Ideacentre Horizon Table PC
"Lay it flat and gather around/all-in-one Windows 8 desktop"
Push this 27-inch all-in-one over, and you get a big screen that lies flat on a table. Touchscreen is capable of handling multiple gamers and various types of gaming hardware -- it ships with electronic dice and four joysticks, as well as Monopoly and lesser-known games. Lenovo calls it "phygital" (shoot me now, OK?), signifying the cross between physical and digital interaction.
Availability: "Early summer"
HP Pavilion Touchsmart Sleekbook
"Affordable, lightweight/sleek and slim design/see more, accomplish more"
Another AMD-based machine, with a 15-inch 1,366-by-768-pixel display, 6GB of RAM, and 750GB HDD; 23mm thick.
Lenovo Thinkpad Helix
"Tabet and Ultrabook in one/rip, flip and go"
As you probably know -- the specs have been around for a while -- it's another small (11-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 pixel resolution) detachable-screen Ultrabook, but you can pull the screen out, rotate it, and put it back, thus using the Ultrabook as a presentation machine or slate. The removable tablet part is under 1.8 pounds, and the whole machine comes in under 4 pounds. It's i7-capable, and it has 10 hours of battery life.
Not surprising, Acer isn't on the list. Acer president Jim Wong had some choice comments about Microsoft and Windows 8 yesterday.
To be sure, there are some possible gems in that list, if you're interested in a premium Windows 8 tablet or a tablet-sized all-in-one. But by and large, I see lots of old designs barely warmed over for the new touch milieu. In some cases the prices approach nosebleed territory, but as Steven Baker of NPD Group notes, the PC industry needs to convince buyers to spend more to get more, in order to pull out of the industry's downward spiral. I think it's a great theory, but from what I've seen, buyers aren't willing to reverse the bang-for-the-computer-buck curve unless there's a truly overwhelming need or a completely new technology. Windows 8 doesn't fit either category.
Of all the designs I've seen, Microsoft's Surface Pro continues to stand out. Of course, nobody's actually put a finger on a real, live Surface Pro. The earlier intelligence we had on the machine left a very poor impression: 64GB SSD with maybe 40GB to 45GB of usable space, a 10.6-inch screen at 1,920-by-1,080 pixel resolution, 4GB of RAM, a USB 3.0 slot, and a rumored four hours of battery life. Cost: $900, plus $120 or more for a keyboard.
There's a very small possibility that the Surface Pro will ship with Intel's new lower-power (7-watt) i5 processor, which was announced yesterday. If Microsoft can get the battery life on the Surface Pro back in the eight-to-10-hour range, we may have a competitor in the making -- particularly if a larger SSD is in the cards.
This story, "New Windows 8 tablets fail to impress," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.