Intel is preparing to showcase over 10 tablet devices based on its Oak Trail chips at the Computex trade show in Taiwan later this month, according to a report in the The Wall Street Journal.
Oak Trail was first unveiled at last year's Computex, but Intel has seen UK-based ARM steal its thunder by grabbing a virtual monopoly in the fast-growing tablet market, thanks to the designs it licenses to vendors such as Nvidia and Texas Instruments.
Intel told V3.co.uk that it had nothing to add to the WSJ report other than the information already on its web site. However, the paper reported Navin Shenoy, Intel's general manager for Asia-Pacific, as claiming that more than 35 Intel chip-based tablets are due to ship this year.
According to widespread reports, Intel will not now make a move into the smartphone market until 2012. Chief executive Paul Otellini has admitted that Intel's ill-fated partnership with Nokia on the Meego operating system may have held it back.
Ovum analyst Nick Dillon argued that, while the delay means Intel may "struggle to make inroads" into the smartphone market, the tablet space offers "a larger potential opportunity for Intel when compared against ARM".
"There's a slightly different use case for tablets. They don't require the same power efficiency as smartphones," he said.
"They have a larger form factor and are more likely to do processor-intensive activities which, given that Intel's chipsets are more powerful, would suit them better."
Dillon added, however, that the success or otherwise of new devices coming onto the market is more likely to be decided by the "killer app", or what people use the devices for rather than their underlying architecture.
Tim Coulling, an analyst with Canalys, added that it isn't necessarily too late for Intel to enter the tablet market.
"If Intel can provide the right hardware at the right price and with the right performance and it can fit into that form factor, they're not necessarily out of the game," he said.
V3.co.uk will be at Computex to bring you all the latest on the Intel tablets as well as any other breaking news and product demos from the show, which kicks off on 31 May.
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