We're still a couple of months away from Windows 8 being available, but we're starting to get a pretty good picture of what the first round of devices will look like running the new operating system. Samsung just showed off the upcoming Series 5 and Series 7 Slates — both are tablet and dock combinations that let each device act as a light, thin tablet, and a full-fledged laptop all at once. We'd seen an early build of the Slate 5 back at Computex, and not that much has changed since then.
Samsung says the Slate 7 is geared toward power users, and as you might guess, it outpaces the consumer-facing Slate 5 in a number of areas. First is display resolution, where the Slate 7's 1080p panel trumps that of the 1366x768 Slate 5. It also contains twice the amount of memory and storage you'll find in the Slate 5, offering 4GB RAM and a 128GB solid state drive.
In a nice bit of Samsung synergy, each device comes with an S Pen, which can be used in Windows 8 to do anything your finger would normally do. There's also some Samsung-specific software, like Media Hub, which means if you buy a movie on your Galaxy S III you can also watch it on your Slate.
S Pen makes the jump to Windows 8
Both are due to arrive right alongside Windows 8 on October 26th. The beefier Slate 7 will sell for $1,199, whereas the Slate 5 will be offered both with and without the keyboard dock for $749 and $649, respectively.
In addition to the totally new devices, Samsung's update strategy for Windows 8 seems to be simply adding a touchscreen to its existing devices. That's what it's done with the Series 5 Ultra, the ultrabook sibling to the convertible Slate. Nothing else has changed about the Ultra, except that it now has a touchscreen. The touchscreen seems to work well, and along with trackpad gestures makes Windows 8 easy to navigate even on the more standard form factor. The revised Series 5 Ultra , also set for a Windows 8 launch day release, will cost between $799 and $849 depending on configuration.
Chris Welch contributed to this article.