PDF: emdoor-info-rugged-tablet-pc-em-q89.pdf (5.5 MB)
Talk about niche. Emdoor, a Chinese ODM and OEM partner, is producing an 8-inch Windows 11 tablet with, get this, an unspecified 8-core ARM processor. @Desertlap, can you speak to this? I am genuinely intrigued. Putting aside its rugged, thick factory-floor exterior, this looks like the closest 2020s-era device yet to a Surface Mini (sans penabled tech) that I have encountered in the wild.
Advanbuy claims an ETA of late February 2023: EM-Q89, 8" Rugged Tablet 8/128G/5G LTE/NFC Windows 11 Pro - Advantech AE (advanbuy.com)
Interesting. I haven’t seen or even heard of this one and if it made any kind of appearance at CES I missed it.
So based on the description, it’s likely a MediaTek chip which, with exception of the Dimensity line, are fairly vanilla ARM designs.
Two things that give me pause are one (and I just reconfirmed this) the Windows licensing currently specifies a minimum of 10-inch display. And in fact, we tried as recently as mid 2020 to license a custom 7.8-inch device and were denied by MS.
Second is that of course it’s not a Qualcomm chip and to date the only WOA devices have had Qualcomm chips and we’ve heard that with the Pro 9 5g MS and QUALCOMM reupped on the exclusivity.
So given that its looks to be coming from a Chinese Whitebox lower tier company and that we know for a fact that WOA runs on almost all ARM compliant designs they certainly could produce such a device, but I suspect they will have trouble when they actually try to sell/ship it.
I did ask one of our best sources in China if they could get us additional information though as we have a couple of customers that would be interested in such a device.
Fascinating! So given Microsoft’s restrictions on non-Qualcomm and sub-10" ARM Windows tablets, this has to be a gray/black market item then. I see that their 10"+ Windows tablet with a Qualcomm processor has FCC approval. However, this one has not and only appears to have made it as far as the EU in the distribution networks.
Yes, one of our EU partners sees it offered in a couple of places, but they haven’t so far been able to actually purchase it.
In my OP, I found that Advantech AE gives an ETA of late February for what it’s worth.
Thanks, I’ll pass that along
As a quick update, I confirmed with Emdoor that the processor is Qualcomm but is Atom-class, meaning the SC7180. The price is not too bad all things considered at $360 for 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. However, I do not need a factory floor device and I realized a faster device is already available from Microsoft that ticks all of the boxes: the Surface Duo “Uno”. Using Capital One Cash Rewards (not credit card rewards but a online cash savings program like Honey), I was able to order a new 256GB model from BuyDig on eBay, which normally sells for $334.99, with a $50 instant rebate coupon making it just $284.99! The plan is to run Windows 11 on this puppy!