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PC Makers Start Announcing Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs

With the back-to-school selling season drawing to a close, PC makers are finally starting to take the wraps off their Windows 8 wares. Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled some new desktop PCs aimed at Windows, and today ASUS announced a Vivo Tab line of tablets that will come in both Windows 8 and Windows RT variants.

Many more Windows 8 PCs are expected to be unveiled at various events throughout the fall, building up to the release of Windows 8 on October 26.

Although most Windows 8-era PCs are expected to be portable devices—laptops, Ultrabooks, slates, convertible PCs, and hybrid devices—Samsung this week announced a series of desktop computers that are aimed at Microsoft’s new OS. Each is an all-on-one design, in which the screen and guts of the PC are integrated into a single unit.

The Samsung Series 5 will feature a 21.5" widescreen display with full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution and multi-touch capabilities (including 10 touch points), an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, a Super-Multi DVD writer, gigabit LAN, 802.11b/g/n wireless networking, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, and a 3-in-1 multi-card slot. It comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse. It will start at $750.

Samsung Series 5

The Samsung Series 7 will come in both 23.6" and 27" versions. Both feature the same or better hardware that’s noted above, including the full HD multi-touch screen with 10 touch points. But the 23" version will sport an Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard disk, and will start at $1,100. The 27" version will feature an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, dedicated AMD Radeon graphics, and a 1TB hard disk, and will start at $1,700.

Samsung Series 7

Samsung is moving beyond the stock Windows 8 install in a few interesting if controversial ways. The Series 5 and Series 7 PCs will incorporate hand-gesture support that works from up to three feet away and is tailored to the Metro environment that’s unique to Windows 8. And Samsung will include a goofy Start button replacement for desktop users. This software utility has gotten a lot of press from the usual blogs for some reason, but it’s no different than similar software that PC makers like Dell already ship in Windows 7-based PCs today.

All of the Samsung PCs will be ready for purchase on October 26. And Samsung is expected to formally announce innovative new Windows 8-based mobile PCs as soon as next week. The firm has been teasing these devices in online ads.

As for ASUS, the PC maker this week announced two new Vivo Tab tablet devices in both Windows 8 and Windows RT variants. Previously known as the Tablet 600 and Tablet 810, respectively, the Vivo Tab and Vivo Tab RT look similar and both include detachable keyboard docks, providing an optional laptop-like configuration. But they sport vastly different hardware specs.

The Windows 8-based Vivo Tab runs a next-generation Atom processor with 2GB of RAM, 64GB of solid state storage, and an 11.6" 10-point multi-touch HD display running at 1366 x 768 resolution. It includes front and rear cameras, a stylus, built-in NFC functionality, and weighs just 1.48 pounds while being .34" thin. The included keyboard dock adds two USB ports, a second battery, and an integrated trackpad.

ASUS Vivo Tab

The Windows RT-based Vivo Tab RT features a 10.1" 1366 x 768 display and is a bit thinner and lighter than its Windows 8 stable mate, coming in at .32" thick and weighing 1.14 pounds. This system runs on a quad-core TEGRA 3 processor with 12-core graphics, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of solid state storage. It also features front and rear cameras, NFC, and a different mobile dock with keyboard, trackpad, a single USB port, and a second built-in battery.

ASUS Vivo Tab RT

ASUS didn't announce pricing or availability for either device.

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