first_imgAs expected, Microsoft has handed out a Samsung tablet to BUILD attendees. So, what was the mysterious tablet teased last week?It wasn’t a quad-core Nvidia chip as some thought. Rather, it was a kicked-up Samsung Series 7 slate with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD, and an 11.6″ Super PLS touchscreen display. The tablet also came with a dock that offered wired connectivity options like USB, HDMI, and Ethernet.If that’s not enough to make you drool, lucky devs in attendance also received complimentary 3G service from AT&T — a whole year’s worth, with a bandwidth allotment of 2GB per month.After the hardware was unboxed, the hands-on previews arrived and Microsoft’s Windows Phone-esque interface was front and center making Windows 8 a finger-friendly experience. From the moment you sign in, Windows 8’s tablet features are easy to see.First, there’s the new picture password option. Instead of using a plain old password, you’ve now got the option to select a picture from your library and draw a pattern on top of it to log in (example: touch your dog’s nose and then draw a circle around its head). It’s a very smart system and totally immune to keyloggers.Once you’ve signed in, the previously-revealed start screen comes into view. Apps and Live Tiles can be pinned, rearranged, and re-sized to your specifications. The start menu has been simplified, reduced to 5 “charms”: settings, devices, share, search, and start. The share charm will tap into Windows Live, where you can, of course, connect your Live ID to scores of web services like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and just about any other site on which you have an account.Windows 8 also offers a greatly improved on screen keyboard. The keys are larger and easier to hit accurately with a finger, and there’s also a split mode that allows you to type using your thumbs — a nice option since 12″ tablets like the Samsung freebie are a bit heavy for using comfortably in one hand for long periods of time.Internet Explorer 10 was also on display, shown in all its chromeless glory looking very much like a third-party tablet browser like Dolphin or Opera Mobile running in full screen mode. Tabs are shown visually in a strip along the top edge of the screen and the browser’s address bar has been moved to the bottom — where it more or less replaces the taskbar.Again, it’s a very finger-friendly interface, with the generously-sized buttons and thumbnails providing a much more natural experience than you’ll get with Internet Explorer 9 on a Windows 7 tablet.As one final nod to the tablet computing experience, Microsoft announced that Windows 8 builds on Windows 7’s already improved support for various types of sensors — including gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers. It also supports NFC, which enables webOS style tap-to-share on Windows 8 devices.With the Windows 8 preview download going live tonight, we’ll share more details as they’re revealed in the coming days. Stay tuned!Also, check out the Samsung tablet running Windows 8 over at ExtremeTechlast_img

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