Last week at Computex, TI showed Anand Windows RT running on one of their own reference tablets. While performance was good according to Anand, Microsoft has instructed partners to not show off anything but the start screen for Windows RT and not much more in the way of video. Today, at TI's Media day, I was given a video (in addition to shooting some of my own, which is the second one below) of Windows RT performance being demonstrated on one of Toshiba's upcoming Windows RT devices. This runs on an OMAP 4470 SoC (which consists of two ARM Cortex A9s and PowerVR SGX544MP1) at final clocks. I'm told that Windows RT will not utilize the 2D composition engine on OMAP 4470 at launch, but may at a later date.

The last I saw Windows RT running on OMAP 4 was on an OMAP4460 at MS Build, where the platform was emulating Direct3D 9_3. Today's implementation on OMAP4470 runs native Direct3D 9_3 on a PowerVR SGX544, and is obviously much, much smoother. There were a few capacitive touch calibration issues on the tablet I played with, but overall smoothness was impressive on the Start screen and browsing the AnandTech homepage. This is a definite positive departure from Microsoft's previous rules passed onto partners which forbade showing much beyond still photography of the home screen. 

I've uploaded my own video of the demonstration as well, which was on TI's own OMAP4470 development tablet.

Source: Texas Instruments

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  • prophet001 - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    However, there did appear to bit a bit of lag as the last "tile" (I'm not sure what they're referred to as) was rendered. Definitely did a good job on the webpage though.
  • freedom4556 - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    Unless the touch pad is atrocious, I can't ever see using the touchscreen on a traditional laptop. Just watching the TI guy do it reinforces how awkward it would be. Notice how he types the URL but then backs off and aims at the "go" button rather than a quick tap of "enter" without taking his hands off the keyboard. It's just slower and redundant.

    Also, do I see the desktop tile on the lower left of that laptop supposedly running Windows RT?
  • Airwick - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    As far as I know, Windows RT still gives access to the desktop app to run Office (which requires it).
  • notposting - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    There is a decent use scenario I've found for it--laying on the couch it would work fine (sometimes I end up with hands coming in from the side, they would actually hit the screen easier than the touchpad). Overall though, any laptop style like this should be something that can go hybrid into slate mode, then into laptop mode. Of couse that will require beefy hinges.
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    I think that was Anand (both arm and voice), but I can't blame you for thinking it was a TI marketing video.
  • ssj4Gogeta - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    From the article:
    "I was given a video of Windows RT performance"

    The first video isn't Anand.
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, June 15, 2012 - link

    Mmmmm, crow.
  • This Guy - Friday, June 15, 2012 - link

    I would have agreed with you a year ago. But I won an Acer convertable and have started to prefer using a touch screen over a track pad. When I am not just using my laptop, it is a million times easier just to reach out and instantly click on something rather than taking the extra seconds to find the touch pad, find the pointer on the screen then move it to what I want to click.

    Yes typing on them is a pain and so is right clicking. From my understanding the touch screen on my convertable is very low end and the new ultra books should provide a far better experience.
  • powerarmour - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    Shame Cedar Trail (with a similar GPU, obviously not CPU) runs Windows 8 like an absolute dog!
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link

    I'm sure Haswell will improve everything considerably.

    MS knows a fair amount about how the hardware market will grow in a few years. If MS is releasing Win8 NOW, I can only imagine that the relevant hardware is about to mature. Whether it's by Intel with Haswell or someone else, I really don't care.

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