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Dual-booting x86 tablet shows up in China

Have you ever found yourself wishing that your tablet comes with more than one operating system installed so that you can switch between either OS to suit various needs? Well, it turns out that the Chinese are already one step ahead in the game: a new x86 tablet that comes pre-loaded with both Windows 7 and an x86 port of Android has started making its rounds around Shenzhen.

With tablets starting to retail for a dime a dozen down in China, one might be tempted to think that there is no more room (or desire) for innovation in this particular class of consumer electronic devices in that country. After all, common logic would state that there is no point trying to be different in an oversaturated market when one company's advancements or innovation are immediately copied by rivals in no time.

However, the latest report we have received from the Chinese tablet market seems to suggest that the spirit of innovation is still alive and well, despite what many others will believe. At least, that is what we are inclined to think, especially after seeing images of a certain dual-booting tablet from Shenzhen circulating on the Internet. Anyone fancy being able to choose between both the Android and Windows 7 operating systems in a tablet?

According to Chinese gadget website M.I.C Digi, this tablet is the product of a company known as Bben, and is known to the Chinese market as the Bben A-97. M.I.C Digi claims that the A-97 makes use of a 9.7-inch, capacitive IPS touchscreen (1024 x 768) for its display, while processing power is provided by Intel's Atom Z530 processor which is clocked at 1.6GHz. In addition, the A-97 boasts 1GB of memory and a 32GB SSD to house the operating systems. This makes perfect sense when you think about it: after all, Windows 7 cannot be installed to ROM, unlike Android.

The A-97 uses version 2.2 of the Android operating system, which is an old built known mainly for its stability and major improvements over 2.1, such as support for Flash, WiFi hotspot and tethering.

If you were expecting the A-97 tablet PC to come bundled with a cheap, no-frills copy of Windows 7 known as Windows 7 Starter Edition, this revelation would probably be quite the welcome surprise. Apparently, Bben was savvy enough to load the tablet up with Windows 7 Home Premium to take full advantage of the operating system's built-in multitouch capabilities.

The Device Manager in Windows 7 reveals that the Bben A-97 tablet PC comes bundled with a built-in 3G modem and an internal WiFi card based of the USB interface, while graphics is handled by the onboard Intel GMA 500 processor.

Interestingly, Bben's A-97 product page makes no mention about support for dual-booting. Of course, it is entirely possible that Bben's product page contains information about an older version of the A-97 tablet PC, and that the information will eventually be updated to reflect that of the one we have shown here.

That being said, how much do you think the Bben A-97 tablet PC will cost? Well, Bben's product page lists an RRP of 588 yuan (approx US$90). Considering that users get both an SSD and two operating systems loaded into a single package, that price is definitely quite the steal. Of course, you will have to be in China to get one, for these products are seldom (if ever) found outside of the Chinese domestic market.

Source: M.I.C Digi

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