With the early success of Apple's iPad and several competitors soon to follow with their own take on tablets, slates could potentially become as popular as netbooks, and just as quickly. So what does Intel think about all this?
"This is by no means the first attempt at tablets," said Justin Rattner , the head of Intel Labs. "The jury is still out... but this round seems to be getting close to a form factor that probably has some legs."
David Perlmutter, head of Intel's architecture group, was equally cautious during the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing. "These new categories are hard to predict," Perlmutter said. "We're ready with technology to be able to support this market as it evolves."
Already there are a number of tablets coming out that tap into Intel's Atom processor, and those will have access to an Intel application download store. Intel also recently announced plans to port Android to Atom-based smartphones, an OS that was originally developed with ARM processors in mind. It would seem that, at the very least, Intel is busy getting its ducks in a row to be a player in the mobile computing space beyond the netbook market.