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Lenovo plan to be the “first to market” with a Windows 8 tablet

Windows 8 won’t be ready for consumers until fall, but that’s not stopping hardware makers from fighting to be first in line to build hardware for Microsoft’s new operating system.

Lenovo is planning to be the “first to market” with a Windows 8 tablet, The Verge reports.

Citing a “source,” the report says Lenovo is planning to be ready to ship the device in October and that it will have an Intel chip, so it clearly won’t be a Windows-on-ARM device. Other than that, there aren’t any details on exactly what the machine will be, although given those basic criteria (tablet, Intel, Windows 8), there’s at least one suspect: the IdeaPad Yoga.

Lenovo showed off the Yoga at CES earlier this year, and it got a lot of attention due to its unusual form factor: a laptop with a keyboard that folds over completely to transform it into a tablet.

Michael Dell had also said publicly that Dell would offer a tablet when Windows 8 launches, and Nokia recentlyconfirmed months of speculation that it was working on a tablet as well. There have also been reports that HP and Asus are working on Windows 8 tablets as well.

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A key differentiator among Windows 8 tablets will be whether they’re based on a traditional PC chip or one that uses the ARM architecture. While the new version of Windows has been engineered to be near-identical on both, ARM-based Windows devices are going to be “end-to-end” devices (meaning Windows would come fully integrated) and have a few special features, like an ultra-low-power mode. However, most legacy apps won’t work on them.

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