Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gigabyte to Launch Dual-Boot Android Tablets

Taiwanese motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte plans to release two dual-boot tablets in October, giving users an operating system choice between Android and Windows 7 on the same device. Preliminary information points to Android 3.0 Honeycomb installed on a 10-inch screen model, with a smaller 7-inch version running Android 2.2. Pictured below is the Gigabyte S1080, a current offering available in Taiwan running Windows 7 Home Premium.

The S1080 is heavy at two pounds, but it includes a large 320GB hard drive and runs Windows applications. Gigabyte is still working on the designs for these new dual-boot tablets and will finalize the versions of Android to be installed before release. Pricing is expected to be competitive, coming in at under $400.
Both dual-boot tablets are expected to use an Intel Atom processor, but unfortunately will not come with USB ports like the S1080 according to the preliminary description. Gigabyte is hoping that Windows 8 will run on an ARM processor, the type currently found on many mobile devices. The company is looking ahead to a Windows 8 tablet for 2012, however it's not clear whether or not this model will feature dual-boot capabilities.
Currently Windows is not a common operating system on tablets, which are dominated by Apple's iOS and Android. Dual-boot functionality would give users the choice of which operating system to load at startup, making it possible to use Microsoft Office applications, for example. Loading up Android would give the user access to Android Market and the complete Honeycomb experience without carrying an extra device.


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