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I played Team Fortress 2 on my Bay Trail tablet and it wasn't bad

I played Team Fortress 2 on my Bay Trail tablet and it wasn’t bad

I played Team Fortress 2 on my Bay Trail tablet and it wasn’t bad

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Yes, yes, I know the Win 8 Surface Pro has shown the fact that you can run Team Fortress 2 on a tablet without dazzling yourself, but they are hot, heavy, expensive kits. But here, I’m using a standard Windows 8 tablet with a smaller form factor and a higher-resolution screen – who would have thought it could do the job too? About 8 hours of battery life?

For the annual Intel Developer Forum, I’ve ventured from the leafy West Country home of PC Gamer in England to the foggy Pacific coast of San Francisco. It started normally on Tuesday, but before that I left the bay and headed to Intel’s offices in Santa Clara, just down the road, to get loads of their new Atom processors, codenamed Bay Trail, that they’re launching today.

The new Bay Trail processors are very different from their bad relationship in the CPU family. First, it’s a proper processor, I mean it’s built on an out-of-order design. This in turn means that it can execute commands in the most efficient order, not just as they are sent to the CPU for processing. It’s also the first HD graphics card in the Atom lineup to get a proper Core CPU. Sadly not of the Iris Pro variety, but we’re still talking about a processor designed for tablets that’s unlikely to draw more than 4W.

I sat on the reference design tablet, which has a 2560×1440 screen, bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and fired up Steam and TF2. Somehow it worked. Source may not be the most demanding game engine today, but it’s still impressive to see a proper 3D game running on a thin tablet, and it doesn’t gasp or melt the desktop it’s on.

Now, I’m not saying it’s going to replace your desktop or gaming laptop, but it shows just how far tablets have come. The Bay Trail might also be in a cheap laptop not too far away, and you can still fix the TF2 there. The first step to proper PC gaming on a tablet? maybe.

It’ll also do some Android stuff at some point, but hey, you still can’t use Steam on Google’s tablet OS, so why bother, eh?

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Wilbert Wood
Games, music, TV shows, movies and everything else.