first_imgThis much we know: Microsoft is going to show off something later today in Los Angeles. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess. The smart money so far seems to be on a Microsoft-built tablet, possibly running Windows RT though not one done in collaboration with Barnes and Noble. But what if it’s something unexpected — like an Xbox-powered HDTV?A reportedly leaked document has popped up on the web that offers a strange mix of hardware specs for a device called the Xbox Surface. It starts out sounding very much like a tablet, with a 7-inch LED display that packs 1280×720 pixels. There’s a rechargeable battery rated for 7 hours of untethered use, WiFi, Bluetooth support, and an SD card slot for storage expansion. From there on, the specs take a sharp turn away from tablet territory.The main processor, for example, is pegged as a 6-core 3.1GHz monster — which would necessitate a gargantuan power pack in order to last for 7 hours. For internal storage, a 250GB 2.5-inch 10K RPM SCSI is noted. That’s certainly not the kind of slim, low-power drive you’d expect to find in a tablet. And what about all the ports that are listed? Plenty of tablets offer HDMI and USB — but four USB 3.0 ports seems like a bit of a stretch for a tablet. You also wouldn’t expect to find an RJ45 Ethernet port, component video hook-ups, or an optical audio connector. Not on a tablet. And a 350W power supply would be overkill for a 7-inch device.It’s entirely possible that this spec sheet is a fake. But what the sprinkling of tablet hardware that’s mentioned is the part that’s off the mark? What if Microsoft is planning a device that would beat Apple and the iTV to market and strengthen their already-strong position in the battle for living room dominance? Microsoft wants the Xbox to be the only box in your home entertainment system. Suppose that means one box period and not just one box plus an HDTV. They’ve certainly got the content deals, partners, developer ecosystem, and brand recognition to make an Xbox TV not only happen but also to be a success. They’ve also gambled in the space before and won big.It’s been confirmed that Barnes and Noble is not an integral part of what’s being shown, and that makes the possibility of a tablet a bit more remote. It’s also worth considering the fact that a Microsoft tablet would be a tricky sell since they’re already working with a number of partners very closely on both x86 Windows 8 tablets and ARM devices running Windows RT. Releasing an HDTV would be a less contentious move, particularly if it’s tied closely to the Xbox brand — which only really competes with Sony and Nintendo.Whatever the case may be, let’s hope that Microsoft is planning on dropping a real bomb tonight… and not simply showing off some Windows RT tablets or notebooks or offering up a deeper dive into Smart Glass.via Shifted2Ulast_img