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Photo of a Windows 8 tablet showing the Start screen

As if you needed further proof Nokia is working hard on a tablet, the company’s design chief Marko Ahtisaari has admitted that he’s spending one-third of his time developing the company’s upcoming slate, according to an interview with the Finnish magazine Kauppalehti Optio.

The confirmation follows comments by Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop, who hinted that the company is extremely interested in tablets. A recent rumor also pointed to Nokia developing a Windows 8 ARM-powered tablet for release later this year. (Above, a Samsung Windows 8 tablet prototype.)

As I’ve written previously, it makes total sense for Nokia to be one of the leading Windows 8 tablet makers. Not only has the company consistently shown its manufacturing expertise (look at the gorgeous Lumia phones), it’s also in the rare position to build a Windows-on-ARM (WOA) tablet with fresh eyes. Nokia hasn’t wasted its time building Android tablets (though it did pioneer early tablets with devices like the N800), and it’s not coming at slates from the perspective of a traditional computer maker like Dell. (We’ll forget the Booklet 3G ever existed.)

It’s also heartening to hear that Ahtisaari is spending quite a bit of time on the tablet, as Nokia will really only have one shot to make an impact with its slate. If Nokia’s tablet isn’t immediately impressive at first glance, it could easily go the way of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook.

Via Reuters

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