Windows 8 Tablets Handed Out to Developers at Build

Those in attendance at Microsoft's Build conference, currently going on in Anaheim, Calif., will be going home with one of 5,000 Windows 8 Tablets by Samsung.

The Windows 8-based device (click here for our Windows 8 preview), called the Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC, will not be available for sale to the general public. This device will work as both a developer and a consumer machine -- code can be written with it, while app usage and general functionality remains intact.

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Windows 8 Metro Start screen running on Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC.

Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky took the time during Tuesday's keynote to unveil Windows 8 running on the Samsung device. "It's a machine for developers," Sinofsky said. "It's a real way to experience the preview of Windows 8 on hardware that's preview as well."

The tablet device, which can use both touch and stylus for control, features an 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 display, an Intel Core i5 processor, 64GB SSD storage, 4GB of DDR3 memory and, according to Microsoft, is a "full on x86 PC."

It weighs in at two pounds, which makes it quite a bit heavier than the competing iPad 2, which weighs 1.33 lbs. However, as with all the specs given, this is not an indication of future consumer models.

The device has been designed to function as both a tablet and traditional PC -- a Bluetooth keyboard was included and the device supports a mouse connection. It also supports a dual-monitor hookup via an HDMI-out port.

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The Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC, coupled with a mouse and keyboard, provides users with a desktop layout.

Those developers lucky enough to be leaving Build with the device will also be supplied with a full year of AT&T 3G connectivity, and can also connect to the Internet via wifi.

As for the software included, each device will come preloaded with a "Windows Developer Preview" version of Windows 8, which marks the first time anybody outside the development team has had hands-on with the OS.

It also comes loaded with a handful of test apps created in 10 weeks by college students. The applications range from games to productivity apps, and include a tool that will transfer handwritten notes taken with the stylus into a text document.

On the development side, the device comes loaded with "developer preview" builds of Visual Studio 11 Express (demo will be available for download tonight) and Microsoft Expression Blend 5, and contains a full Windows App Certification Kit program so that the community can start creating and testing Windows 8 applications immediately.

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Visual Studio 11 Express running on Build's Windows 8 tablet handout.


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