Windows 8 'Clover Trail' tablets delayed until 2013

Windows 8 'Clover Trail' tablets delayed until 2013

Summary: A driver fumble means that Santa won't be leaving many Windows 8 "Atom" tablets under the tree over the holidays.


The holiday season is usually a great time for PC OEMs, and this one should be doubly so given that it comes hot on the heels of a new Windows release. But a fumble with driver certification means that Santa won't be leaving many Windows 8 "Atom" tablets under the tree.

It seems that Dell and HP have both pushed back the launch of Windows 8 tablets running Intel's new power-efficient Atom Z2760 "Clover Trail" processor until January. According to InformationWeek, Dell's Latitude 10 and HP's Envy x2 convertible are affected.

A search of online retails suggests that the only Atom Z2760-powered tablet you can buy right now is the Acer W510, which also appears to be in short supply.

The Atom Z2760 is a 1.8GHz dual-core x86 CPU built using Intel's 32-nanometer high-k process. The primary feature that it brings to the table is better battery life.

The problem appears to be down not to the hardware but to drivers. Back in early October it was reported that Intel had yet to deliver power management software for its "Clover Trail" processors to Microsoft for approval. This, according to sources, would likely delay the release of hardware, and according to supply chain sources, it is this delay in getting Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certification for the drivers -- required before the hardware can go on sale -- which is behind this latest delay.

See alsoDoes Nokia have a Windows RT tablet in the pipeline?

Missing the critical holiday season will be bad for hardware OEMs, and is liklely to hand more tabler market share to other players, including the iPad and even Surface.

"Clover Trail" introduces two new power management states, called S0i1 and S0i3. S0i1 is described as an "active" sleep state that kicks in when the user stops using the device but hasn't yet put it to sleep, while the S0i3 sleep state is called a "connected" sleep state and this allows the device to enter a state where it consume microwatts of power but can still wake up in a matter of milliseconds.

These new sleep states mean that the standby battery life of Z2760-powered hardware can be as much as three weeks.

Image source: Intel.

Topics: Intel, Hardware, Processors, Tablets, Windows 8

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  • clover trail

    will only bring the battery life up from 'poor' to 'disappointing'. The high CPU requirements of full windows apps will still burn through the battery with ease.
    • Um, no!

      I have read at least 10 reviews from people who own Clover Trail based tablets, and they all say that battery life is outstanding. And next year, BayTrail arrives @ 22nm, then 14nm in 2014, both of which mean even better battery life.

      FYI - Clover Trail runs at 3.5 watts TDP, which is extremely low compared to anything else Intel has and not far above the high-end ARM chips. And AKH doesn't mention that Clover Trail runs hyper-threading with up to four synchronous threads. Due to this, Clover Trail is stomping the ARM competition in benchmarks upwards of 35% better scores.
      • I can back this up

        My Samsung Ativ battery lasts about 9-10 hours without the new drivers.

        As for the clown below stating W8 tablets will spend time on the shelf you're a tool. People should get a W8 tab ASAP and list their I-toys on Craigslist. W8 is a far better tab experience than anything out there. You can be stale with Apple and Android or you can run an interactive OS that offers an immersive experience. The choice is easy....Windows 8.
        • really?

          People buy computers because they run their applications.

          Where are the tablet applications for Windows 8?
          • clover trail

            This is clover trail (an x86 chip) which will run any prior windows application. Sorry to rain on your parade but there is NO other ecosystem that comes even close to the selction of programs (apps in your world) for Windows. They may not all be specifically designed for tabletsm but there are more coming every day.
          • 30K app isnt enough to keep yu happy until Feb

            so far 30K and MS promised 100 K by feb until then jump off the roof if you cannot stand it
            Sonlab Mehra
        • I Backup your backup

          We have couple of iconia W510, a 32gb and 64gb both with the keyboard dock. This device is awesome, we get 8-9 hours easy running Netflix., at hd resolution, with the keyboard dock we get close to 18hours. These details are not theory specs, but real end user spec. Fyi, only con we have is on the 32gb, for a full win8 device, there was never enough space. If anyone wants any of these clover trail devices, the 32gb will be a mistake. This comment was done on one of our tablets without the keyboard dock.
          Alfred Soyemi
          • 16GB or 32GB is all you need

            I have a Viewsonic tablet with Win 7. It only has a 16GB SSD and 1GB of RAM and it never stutters with basic usage. I have also have all of my necessary programs on it (MP Classic, Filezilla, Firefox, Open Office, Adobe Reader, Avast, Winrar, PowerIso, etc).

            For all of my media, games, entertainment, or extra programs I have my 32 GB SD. The Acer actually takes up to 64 GB so you actually have a lot of space on a 32 GB or even 16 GB Windows tablet. Of course, if someone plans on their Win 8 tablet being their main computer then I would go for a 64 GB or 128 GB SSD since you may have more productivity programs or games that you want to load.
            Sim Lash
        • ATIV Tab is ARM based and Runs WinRT

          The ATIV tab is powered by an ARM chip and runs WinRT, not an x86 chip and Win 8 X86. No wonder the battery life does not blow..

          "Outstanding x86 tab battery" - What, 4 outstanding hours ?
          • Are tou meaning the Ativ SmartPC

            Do you mean the Ativ SMartPC, as it seems pretty expensive for a 1.8GHzDual core atom, with 2Gb ram, that is dog slow, and is much worse than the surface in battery life.

            Although a creditable first go, you'd be far better with a Samsung 13" Ultrabook, at broadly similar prices, with a proper core i3/i5, decent ram and a proper hard disk you can actually store something one.
          • Dual Cores are just fine for average use

            Actually, the Samsung 500T is said to be a very good system and at $600 it's cheaper than a 64GB iPad when you compare options. The Surface RT reportedly has 8 hrs of battery life while the Clover Trail has 9+ hrs and is more powerful.
            Sim Lash
      • Re: Clover Trail is stomping the ARM competition...

        ...except in cost.

        Performance, battery life, price: Intel can compete with ARM on any two, but never on all three.
    • And yet there's nothing out there that will improve your trolls.

      Your posts will remain at 'poor' even though you wish them to elevate to 'disappointing'
      William Farrel
    • Liar Liar

      I own acer W510 that packs Intel Clover trail, it gives me 9 hrs of battery without any issue, it is fast and performance awesome, much better than ARM processors.
      Better get your facts right, read review on acer on, you will see everyone gave it 5 start and no one has given 1 or even 2 star.
      Sonlab Mehra
      • Compromised Tab

        Couple of independant review saying the product is a credibile first go, but is severely compromised.
        • Acer W510 is the best Win 8 device so far

          To me the best Win 8 tablet/hybrid out right now is the Acer W510. The Samsung tablet is too big and I don't like the placement of the power button, USB port and SD slot. I hope Viewsonic makes a Win 8 tablet with an AMD proc that's designed just like their VPad 10 (2 USB, card reader & hdmi).

          Sim Lash
  • shelf life

    Yes very long shelf life is important as that's where these windows tablets will end up spending most of their time when reality sets in.
    • well true for ipad and plastic android

      True for iPads that were already purchased by consumers, because Surface and Win 8 tablets are going to replace the iPads and plastic android tablets and they are going have a long 'Shelf Life'.
    • It seems you haven't tried one and talking like a pro there.

      The current Windows Tablets running on Windows 8 (not Windows RT) have 8 hours of battery life. Take Samsung ATIV S 5 or 7 series (5 runs on Atom and 7 runs on i5), Asus VivoTab (Tab and Smart not VivoTab RT), or Acer 510T they give you 8 hours of battery life. Asus VivoTab gives 8 hours of battery life with dock added. Both Asus VivoTabs and Acer 510T runs on Atom processors. I request you to try one before FUDding. Your comment sounded like cynical, which wishes bad always.
      Ram U
      • Battery Life for Win 8 vs. Win 7 on virtually identical machines

        Win 8 is not holding up so well:

        The reviewer look at overall average battery life and then compared laptops with essentially the same hardware (such as the Toshiba P845t-S4310 with touch screen vs the P845-S4200 without) and found that the Win7 Editions alway had better battery life in most cases.