Qualcomm Windows RT tablet with quad-core Snapdragon 800 spotted at BUILD; we go hands on

Earlier this month, Qualcomm announced that its ARM-based chipset, the Snapdragon 800, is coming to Windows RT 8.1 devices, with the first models destined to launch "later this year". Today, at Microsoft's BUILD developer conference in San Francisco, we got a very brief look at a development device featuring the new chipset. 

Qualcomm's reps were keen to stress that the tablet you see here isn't destined for production, and is purely for development purposes. It's based on a version of the company's 'Liquid' tablet reference design, which debuted with the Snapdragon S4 in late 2011. 

Its design is about as non-descript as you could imagine with no significant design flourishes. Given its status as a dev machine though, what's more important is the inclusion of features such as a mini-HDMI port, NFC and SD card slot. 

Qualcomm sadly wouldn't let us play with the device beyond sliding the tiles on the Start screen back and forth (they were initially reluctant to let us take any photos at all), and they didn't want to discuss too much about its specs either, revealing only that the machine has an 11.6-inch display (apparently running at around WXGA resolution), along with a 12MP camera. The Snapdragon 800 processor on the inside is running at 2.2GHz, and the reps confirmed that the device was running the Windows RT 8.1 Preview, which debuted yesterday.

They wouldn't divulge any details as to when the first tablets with Snapdragon 800 will go on sale, but they did say that they've been "working closely" with Microsoft to optimise the new chipset for the Windows RT platform. Snapdragon 800 will bring support for higher-resolution displays - up to 2560x2048px - with an Adreno 330 GPU, along with the ability to natively encode and decode 4K video, as well as including integrated 3G/4G radios, opening up exciting new possibilities for future Windows RT hardware. 

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15 Comments

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haha, so true.

Apple = expensive = accepted
W8 tablets = not enough features & too expensive.
Android = woohoo!!

Or something like that....

Dutchie64 said,

W8 tablets = not enough features & too expensive.

Not enough features???? Win8 tablets are the most feature rich than anything else available. What are you smoking?

What happens if you want to use a custom browser, music app, camera app, or gallery app on a Windows tablet? No problem on an Android tablet

Javik said,
What happens if you want to use a custom browser, music app, camera app, or gallery app on a Windows tablet? No problem on an Android tablet

And what happens according to you?

Obry said,

Not enough features???? Win8 tablets are the most feature rich than anything else available. What are you smoking?

true, except far few apps and games... you see tablets have changed the mindset.
if my windows tablet gonna work as a laptop and PC, why i need a tablet that do same.

My Surface RT 2 wishlist:

1) Snapdragon 800 SoC - almost a given at this point.
2) 8" IPS 1920x1080p display w/ Wacom digitizer (and build the stylus slot INTO the device this time), 10 touch points (previous had 5), calibrate the screen, and let it have a nice saturation curve as well
3) 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM
4) 1080p rear and front facing cameras. 2MP stills (front), 5MP stills (rear).
5) USB 3.0
6) Mini DisplayPort out
7) Under 1lb
8) 10 hr battery life
9) $349-399 (realistic pricing here, not fantasy land, we'd all want it cheaper)

Yeah sorry you'll have to wait couple of years before a tablet with such specs will come close to your "realistic" price...

erikpienk said,
Lol realistic price? you have to include the software cost and office cost also a tablet like that would cost like 600-750

Unfortunately we have a whole heap of people out there like dagamer34 who think that if it isn't Apple then magically it is cheaper without there being compromises to get down to that price point. Sorry but the unrealistic pricing is the side effect of the 'Apple hate' that permeates within the Neowin community - anything that isn't dirt cheap must automatically mean that the company is ripping off the customer and apparently those $50 Android tablets from China get to that price point through magic, pixie dust and voodoo magic.

Honestly, if I was in the market for a hybrid device and I was an Apple fan I'd go for a Surface RT without hesitation - reasonable price, complete version of Office once the 8.1 is released and fabulous battery life. It is a win-win IMHO.

Seems pretty realistic to me: An ARM device roughly the same size and specs as an iPad Mini (only with the usual Windows flourishes such as USB and HDMI) for about the same price as an iPad Mini and the current gen Surface RT.

What's so unrealistic about that?

erikpienk said,
Lol realistic price? you have to include the software cost and office cost also a tablet like that would cost like 600-750

nothing funny we are talking about RT not full windows OS here
yes office if included that cost will add up, but they should not add that.

all this smart talk yet you forgot its Windows RT not the full blown windows 8 OS. so he is right to what he wish.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

Unfortunately we have a whole heap of people out there like dagamer34 who think that if it isn't Apple then magically it is cheaper without there being compromises to get down to that price point. Sorry but the unrealistic pricing is the side effect of the 'Apple hate' that permeates within the Neowin community - anything that isn't dirt cheap must automatically mean that the company is ripping off the customer and apparently those $50 Android tablets from China get to that price point through magic, pixie dust and voodoo magic.

Honestly, if I was in the market for a hybrid device and I was an Apple fan I'd go for a Surface RT without hesitation - reasonable price, complete version of Office once the 8.1 is released and fabulous battery life. It is a win-win IMHO.