Windows 8 Minimum Tablet Requirements Detailed

Everybody is eagerly looking forward to the range of Windows 8 based tablets that will be released once Windows 8 hits the market towards the end of this year. There was a whole load of tablets revealed at CES this year, each of them hoping to compete with Apple’s iPad. One thing that was consistent with all the tablets was that they all had pretty decent specs, then again they will have to if they want to run Windows 8 properly.

Over at Within Windows they’ve gone through the Windows 8 hardware requirement documentation and uncovered what the minimum requirements will be for these tablets if they want to be certified for Windows 8.

Here’s what the minimum specs of any Windows 8 certified tablet will be

At least 10GB free space

Wireless and Bluetooth 4.0 + LE

Support for Direct3D 1- device w/ WDDM 1.2 Driver

Resolution of 1366 x 768

720p Camera

Ambient Light Sensor

3 axes Accelerometer


USB 2.0 (at least one port)


Minimum of 5 finger multi touch

Microsoft are making sure that all they’re devices will at the very least support multi touch out of the box, and having a minimum of 5 finger support means that you’ll be able to get at least one hand on the screen to try out all those new touch features.

NFC “touch marks”

While NFC isn’t a requirement on Windows 8 tablets, if manufacturers choose to include it they must also have these “touch marks”. Basically a little sticker or indicator of some sort so that the user knows where to point the device to another NFC device. Common sense really.

Driver Upgrades That Don’t Require a Reboot

This is good news for everyone, Microsoft will now require that graphics cards don’t require a reboot when they’re updated.

Must have 5 Hardware buttons
Microsoft are being very strict when it comes to the number of buttons allowed on these tablets. They’re saying that there must be 5 buttons, no more and no less. This applies to all Windows 8 tablets and convertible PCs.

The buttons will be

  • Power button
  • Rotation lock
  • Windows Key
  • Volume up
  • Volume down

The requirements for the Windows Key are that it will be at least 10.5 mm in diameter and can be in any shape (e.g. sqaure, round, triangular,hexagonal even).

New combination for CTRL + ALT + DEL

Now Windows 8 PCs joined to a domain without a keyboard will have a new option to log on. A new option will be the press the Windows Key + Power. Of course you’ll still be able to use the traditional CTRL + ALT + DEL using the on screen keyboard.

2 Second Resume from Standby
Microsoft won’t require that Windows 8 ARM PCs resume in two seconds or less … only x86 Intel-compatible Windows 8 PCs will have this requirement. This requirement actually is in place for Windows 7 as well so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for tablet makers, and it can only be a good thing for consumers. The reason Microsoft haven’t set this requirement for ARM is probably because they don’t know enough about how Windows reacts with ARM as of yet. We may see it introduced in the future however.

So there’s the minimum requirements and specifications for Windows 8 tablets. If you ask me any machine coming with those specs is going to be pretty feature packed, especially once you load Windows 8 on to it. However Microsoft haven’t detailed any minimum processor requirements, but they did say that any machine which was able to run Windows  7 will be able to run Windows 8.

The minimum specs for the Windows 8 developer preview were:

1 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit systems or 2 GB of RAM for 64-bit systems.

So that’s probably a good guideline.

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