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First of 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablets arrives, this one from HP

Hewlett-Packard is one of the first to offer 64-bit compatibility on Windows 8.1 with a tablet using Intel's latest mobile processor. But others will follow.

On Sunday, Hewlett-Packard announced the HP ElitePad 1000 (PDF), which it describes as the "redesigned and upgraded 64-bit HP ElitePad." That tablet, starting at $739, will be available in March.

The ElitePad sports a quad-core Bay Trail processor, Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and a 10.1-inch 1,900x1,200-megapixel display.

And Dell will roll out updated Venue tablets with 64-bit mode turned on, Dell told CNETRead more

Microsoft said to slash Windows 8.1 price on low-cost devices

Microsoft will implement a 70 percent discount on the price of Windows 8.1 for inexpensive devices, according to a report from Bloomberg. This follows a similar report last year.

Device makers will be charged $15 "to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50," according to Bloomberg.

A similar report emerged from Asia last year. But that report cited size and device-type restrictions. That will no longer apply, however, said Bloomberg. (Other reports last year also cited discounts.)

Some observers see this as … Read more

Wireless charging group expands from phones to laptops

The Alliance for Wireless Power wants to cut another cord: the power cable that lets people charge their laptops.

The A4WP announced Thursday that it's added a new version of its Rezance wireless charging technology that can deliver 20 to 50 watts -- enough to charge laptops. Not coincidentally, it also announced its first PC maker has joined the consortium: Dell.

The alliance will show its technology next week at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.

Wireless charging promises greater convenience, but it's been slow to catch on, in part because of problems with conflicting standards that … Read more

Finally, here come the 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablets

At least one major PC maker is expected to show an Intel "Bay Trail" tablet running 64-bit Windows 8.1 at Mobile World Congress, according to a source familiar with upcoming plans for those tablets.

Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung are some of the most prominent PC makers to offer Windows 8.1 tablets running on Intel's Bay Trail chip. To date, Windows tablets based on Intel's newest -- and redesigned -- quad-core Atom processor have run in 32-bit mode.

One of the most oft-cited reasons for going 64-bit is to address more memory, beyond the … Read more

Dell workstations could embrace Thunderbolt later this year

A Windows PC maker could be forgiven for not leaping to embrace a technology like Thunderbolt that rival Apple has so loudly promoted. But it looks like Dell will build in the high-speed port technology on workstations coming as soon as this year, CNET has learned.

"I feel Thunderbolt has become more mainstream for the high end," said Pat Kannar, director of marketing for Dell's Precision line of workstation products. "We're definitely looking at adding it into systems coming out later this year and next year."

Dell tucked Thunderbolt into its high-end XPS One 27Read more

A dual Windows-Android machine: PC industry savior or non-starter?

It's pretty grim days for the PC industry, and the sector's next hope -- machines that run both Windows and Android at the same time -- may not be enough to save it.

The dual-operating system idea is just the latest attempt by the computer makers to juice sales, which have been on a steady decline: shipments posted their worst-ever drop last year, and on Thursday, Sony said it would exit the PC market. In the newest effort by the industry to revitalize computer sales, PCs would let users access both Android apps and Windows software with just … Read more

Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo tablets dip below $250 at Microsoft Store

Microsoft is pushing select Windows 8.1 tablets below $250 at its online and physical stores.

For example, the 32GB Dell Venue 8 Pro is now priced at $229, dropping $70 from $299.

The 32GB Lenovo Miix 2 and Toshiba Encore are also $249 now, down from $299.

As a yardstick for comparable Android tablets, Dell's Venue 8, which runs Android 4.2.2 on an older Z2580 Intel Atom processor, sells for $179.99 directly from Dell. And Toshiba markets the Android-based Toshiba Excite 7 for $149.99.

Other Windows 8.1 models have been cut too. The … Read more

Dell: How about a MakerBot 3D printer with that pro PC?

Proving more than just a hot topic at CES a few weeks ago, 3D printing is panning out to be the preeminent battleground for enterprise hardware this year.

The latest piece of evidence for that forecast is the new deal between Dell and an emerging leader in the 3D-printing space, MakerBot.

The PC maker has announced a deal in which it will resell MakerBot's Replicator 3D printers and scanners to small and medium-sized businesses.

Andy Rhodes, executive director for Dell's Precision workstation brand, noted in the announcement that these advanced printers will be lined up with its machines … Read more

Microsoft Surface: It's on a roll (and why it exists)

Why does Surface exist and is Microsoft serious about moving forward with the laptop-tablet hybrid? The software giant -- er, device maker -- has answers to those questions.

Microsoft said this week during its earnings conference call that Surface shipments doubled sequentially, though it's a little more complicated than that (i.e., Surface doesn't appear to be profitable yet).

The company is, not surprisingly, encouraged by the numbers and it appears to have no intention to retreat from the strategy to evolve as a device maker.

So, let's pose this existential question: why did Microsoft create Surface? … Read more

Dell's Surface Pro 2 rival appears at Microsoft Store

The Microsoft store has begun selling an Intel Core i5-based Dell tablet that competes with the Surface Pro 2.

Microsoft has added an Intel Core i5 4210Y-based Venue 11 Pro to its lineup of Dell tablets, which already includes an Atom-based Venue 11 Pro and the Venue 8 Pro.

The i5-based Venue 11 Pro differs from the Intel "Bay Trail" Atom model in some important respects, performance and price being the most salient. The Core i5 variant is faster and more expensive than its Atom counterpart. The i5 model is priced at $899, compared with $499 for the Atom-based model. … Read more