ANAHEIM, Calif. — If you’re interested in the Windows 8 tablet that Microsoft and Samsung developed and gave away at the Build conference, here’s how to get one yourself.
Microsoft ordered 5,000 of the demo systems and they’re gone.
But Samsung is going to begin selling the same device next month in the U.S. for $1,099. It will have the same configuration — a 64 gigabyte solid-state hard-drive, Intel’s second-generation Core i5 processor, a charging dock, stylus and Bluetooth keyboard — but will come with Windows 7.
It has an 11.6″ widescreen display, it weighs about 2 pounds and is a half-inch thick.
A Samsung representative said the system can be loaded with the preview version of Windows 8 that Microsoft began distributing for free on Tuesday night. It’s unclear whether the same hardware will be shipped next year when Windows 8 is done, by which time hardware and component prices will have changed.
You won’t get the demo apps built by Microsoft interns last summer, though, and you won’t be able to load more Metro apps until Microsoft launches the new Windows Store.
If you take this plunge, make sure you’ve got a way to restore Windows 7, in case the preview software expires or gets glitchy.
UPDATE: A Microsoft spokeswoman noted that the Windows 7 version of the device doesn’t have some of the extra sensors included on the Windows 8 demo systems and support for WWAN cell service like the demo units given to developers, which came with an AT&T SIM card and a year of free 3G service.
However, I just learned from Samsung that the slates it’s selling next month do have a SIM card slot and support HSPA service and faster 4G WiMax service.
Here’s the Samsung device with Windows 7 running — it already makes me miss Windows 8:
A close-up of the desktop with Windows 7:
NEW: Here are some images from Samsung:
For comparison, here’s the same hardware running Windows 8:
The new on-screen keyboard in Windows 8:
Here are the specs for the Samsung “Series 7 Slate” and prices: