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Gaston Hillar

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Microsoft Unveils a Powerful Dual-Core Tablet PC with Windows 7 at CES 2011

January 06, 2011

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off a powerful dual-core ASUS tablet PC during his opening keynote at 2011 CES, on Wednesday evening, in Las Vegas. The ASUS Eee Slate EP121-1A011M 12.1-Inch Tablet PC uses a dual-core Intel Core i5-470UM CPU, provides USB connectivity and runs Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit edition.A few months ago, in "Dual-Core Tablets: They're Just Around the Corner," I talked about new tablets that were going to use dual-core CPUs. Multicore CPUs are arriving to the world of tablets. In fact, multicore CPUs are becoming part of any modern device with a CPU.

The 64-bit Intel Core i5-470UM CPU has two physical cores and four hardware threads. The CPU uses Intel Hyper-Threading Technology to provide two hardware threads per physical core. This CPU brings the power of a laptop to a tablet. You can read the detailed technical specifications for this CPU here. The tablet runs Windows 7, and therefore, it is possible to run all the software designed for this operating system.

If you plan to develop software that takes advantage of the new and forthcoming tablets, you should consider parallel programming and asynchronous programming. Parallel programming allows you to take advantage of dual-core CPUs included in modern tablets. Asynchronous programming allows you to provide a responsive UI.

The existence of powerful dual-core tablets that run Windows 7, such as the ASUS Eee Slate EP121, is great news for Windows developers because they can reuse existing code. In addition, because the CPU is a laptop CPU, Windows developers can use the same concurrency profiling techniques that they use to develop software that runs on laptops or desktop PCs. For example, you can use Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 parallel extensions to develop software that targets the ASUS Eee Slate EP121. In addition, this tablet allows developers to take advantage of the speech recognition features included in Windows 7, as explained in "Voice: It's the New UI."

Parallel programming is becoming essential for any developer. No matter the device your software targets, you have to understand how to take advantage of the power provided by modern multicore CPUs.

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