7 new Windows 8 tablets

The introduction of Microsoft Windows 8 has spawned a variety of new and exciting devices. Here are 7 tablets that were built especially to accommodate the new operating system. Some include keyboards and other add-ons, but will those extras -- and the promise of Windows on a tablet -- be enough to lure buyers away from the iPad and Android tablets?

Acer Iconia W7

The Acer Iconia W7 (model W700) is the most powerful standard-size tablet among those featured here, with an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor running Windows 8 behind a 1920 x 1080 11.6-in. full HD screen. Models offer from 64GB to 128GB of SSD storage, front-facing and rear-facing HD cameras, and Dolby Home Theater v4 audio enhancement.

The Iconica W7 comes with a cradle that not only acts as a stand in both landscape and portrait mode, but also adds HDMI and USB 3.0 ports.

Price: Starts at $799.99
Shipping: Now

Asus VivoTab

Asus pairs its 11.6-in. VivoTab with a Wacom digital stylus and an optional Mobile Dock detachable dock that provides a keyboard, trackpad, USB port and an extra battery that, the company claims, nearly doubles the unit's unplugged life. The dock folds over the 1366-x-768-resolution display to turn the whole package into, essentially, an ultraportable notebook.

The Vivo Tab comes with a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor. In addition to 64GB of SSD storage, the base version ($699.00) comes with 32GB of online Asus WebStorage for three years. Asus also offers a 10.1-in. Windows RT version (the VivoTab RT, currently shipping) that comes with the dock and 32GB of storage for $599.00.

Price: Starts at $699.00
Shipping: Not available at press time

Dell XPS 10

Dell is positioning its 10.1-in. XPS 10 Windows RT tablet as a business productivity tool. The base unit has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 32GB or 64GB of storage, and a 1366 x 768 10.1-in. screen. Dell emphasizes the XPS 10's suitability for enterprise use, touting its Secure Boot, Trusted Platform Module and Windows Defender features.

An optional keyboard dock ($180.00) adds another battery and more USB and HDMI ports.

Price: Starts at $499.99
Shipping: December 11, 2012

HP ElitePad 900

Hewlett-Packard has announced the HP ElitePad 900, which will be available early next year. It will have a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor, 64GB of SSD storage and a 10.1-in. 1280 x 800 display; it will run Windows 8 Pro. Intended for enterprise use, the ElitePad will be able to use HP Global Services and HP Custom Integration Services to make deployment easy. HP also claims the unit will have "military-grade durability" to survive dropping, dust and temperature extremes.

HP will also offer an assortment of productivity accessories, such as docks and "jackets" that add keyboards and ports.

Price: Not available at press time
Shipping: January 2013

Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx K3011

The Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx is among the more full-featured tablets in this roundup, with a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor (enabling it to run the full version of Windows 8) behind an 11.6-in. HD display. The tablet has a micro USB, microSD and micro HDMI ports; an optional keyboard dock ($149.00) adds two more full-size USB ports plus a keyboard and extra battery. There is a single 2-megapixel front-facing webcam.

The Lynx also features Connected Standby, which lets it continue to sync your emails even when the unit's asleep.

Price: Starts at $599.00
Shipping: December 2012

Sony Vaio Tap 20 Mobile Desktop

With the Vaio Tap 20 Mobile Desktop, Sony pushes the boundaries of the term "tablet." Its 20-in. display lets it have features beyond the reach of other tablets: an onboard subwoofer, Dolby Home Theater sound, an Ethernet port, and a 1.3-megapixel HD webcam. It comes with Family Paint, an app that lets two people draw together, and Fingertapps Organizer, a calendar you can write on.

A Tap 20 with a Core i5 processor and a 750GB hard drive costs $999.99; with a Core i7 processor and a 1TB drive, $1,199.99. Both come with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Price: Starts at $999.99
Shipping: Now

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

The introduction of Windows 8 also marks Microsoft's latest venture into hardware: the Surface tablet (read our review here). The first version available comes with Windows RT, priced at $499.00 for 32GB of RAM; if you want the magnetic Touch Cover keyboard, it's $599.00 for 32GB and $699 for 64GB. You can also buy a more "clicky" Type Cover for $129.99.

The Surface has a 10.6-in. 1366 x 768 HD display, two 720p webcams, a USB 2.0 port, a microSD card slot and an HD video-out port.

Microsoft will also sell a Surface with Windows 8 Pro, a longer-lasting battery and a higher-resolution screen. Unofficial price estimates range from $799.00 to $999.00.

Price: Starts at $499.00
Shipping: Now

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.