Thanks to the documentation that Microsoft provided this week at WinHEC, we now have a more complete idea of the Windows 10 minimum hardware requirements for PCs, which of course includes tablets, 2-in-1s and other transforming/hybrid devices as well. Here’s the complete rundown.
Note: I wrote about the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10 Mobile in More Details About Windows 10 Mobile Emerge. These requirements refer to new PCs only.
Firmware. UEFI 2.3.1 with Secure Boot enabled
TPM. Optional, can be TPM 1.2 or 2.0. TPM 2.0 is required one year after Windows 10 RTMs.
RAM. 1 GB (32-bit/x86) or 2GB (64-bit/x64)
Storage. 16 GB (32-bit/x86) or 20 GB (64-bit/x64)
Screen. 7-inches or bigger (Pro) or 8-inches or bigger (consumer), 800 x 600 resolution and higher
Graphics. DirectX 9
Hardware buttons (tablet only). Power, Volume Up and Volume Down are required. Start and rotation lock are optional.
Cellular radio. Optional, can be data-only (not data and voice)
Notification (vibration). Optional.
Touch. Optional, must be at least two-finger touch.
Frankly, there are no surprises here, and this isn’t much different from what we see today with Windows 8.1. Indeed, you can see the makings of a low-end Windows tablet in there: a 32-bit processor with 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and a 7-inch screen. That 800 x 600 should be considered a bare minimum—i.e. “what’s needed to Boot and run Windows 10″—but not a realistic specification for end user machines, which should be 1280 x 800 is or better in most cases. (1064 x 600 for the truly terrible tablets.)