10 devices to test drive Windows 8

Off-the-shelf devices that Microsoft uses in its labs to put Windows 8 through its paces

While there's a lot of talk about touchscreen devices to show off Windows 8 to its best advantage, none is for sale yet built to Microsoft specifications. The company did hand out a limited run of a Samsung Windows 8 Developer Preview touchscreen PCs to key developers, but mere mortals can't buy one. However, here are a dozen off-the-shelf devices that Microsoft says it uses in its labs to put Windows 8 through its paces. You, too, can buy one if you haven't already.

For comparison, here are the specs on the Samsung prototype handed out to select developers: Intel Core 1.6GHz i5 processor, 4GB DDR3, 64GB SSD, 11.6-inch diagonal screen, Samsung Super PLS 1366 x 768 display. (The prototype scored 4.3 on Microsoft’s Windows Experience Index which ranks hardware up to a top score of 5.9.)

[ Free download: Windows 8 Deep Dive Report | Windows 8: The 10 biggest problems so far]

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