Intel's Oak Trail appears in Motion Computing tablet

The CL900 Windows tablet is able to play 1080p HD video, and run for eight hours on a single battery charge

Motion Computing on Tuesday showed off a Windows tablet with Intel's upcoming Oak Trail chip package, which is highly power efficient and has strong multimedia capabilities, a company executive said.

The Motion CL900 tablet includes a 10.1-inch screen and runs on a specialized Atom chip that Intel has designed for tablets. The chip runs at 1.5GHz, and has graphics accelerators that allow the Motion Computing tablet to play full 1080p high-definition video at 30 frames per second. Current Atom processors are able to support up to 720p video playback.

The tablet is based on the Windows 7 operating system, and can run for up to eight hours on a single battery charge, said Michael Johnson [CQ], senior vice president of product development at Motion Computing.

The longer battery life was made possible by changes that Intel has made at the chip level with Oak Trail, Johnson said.

The tablet was shown at a preview for press and analysts ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show, which will be held in Las Vegas between January 6 and 9.

The chip has specialized hardware to quickly decode high-definition video, Johnson said. It also has decoders to accelerate the playback of MPEG files in Windows Media Player, he added.

Intel also ended up using a different graphics core than it uses on its current Atom chipsets, which resulted in the graphics improvements, Johnson said.

Intel announced last year the Oak Trail chip in response to the growing demand for tablets. The company is battling Arm, whose processors go into most tablets today, including Apple's iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

Intel initially offered its netbook chips for tablets, but companies opted to use chips based on Arm processors, which are highly power efficient.

Oak Trail will be a competitive tablet platform, said David Kanter [CQ], an analyst at Real World Technologies.

Intel wants to spread its x86 architecture across devices to bring together software compatibility, but it remains to be seen if tablet makers will bite, Kanter said.

Motion Computing mainly makes PCs for business users, and the Motion CL900 is targeted at audiences like field workers and retailers. The tablet includes 30GB of solid-state drive storage and 2GB of RAM. It weighs around 2.1 pounds (0.9 kilograms). It also included a strong glass touchscreen display that can also accept pen input.

The tablet is priced at around US$1,000 and will ship in the early part of the second quarter.

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Agam Shah

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