Mobile World Congress starts in Barcelona on February 27th and it provides a great event for manufacturers to showcase not only their mobile phones but also the latest tablet devices. There are several tablets that fans of this form factor are hotly anticipating but let’s take a look at three high on tech fans ‘most wanted’ list.
Samsung did a solid job last time around, bringing to market one of the most popular Android tablets around, in the shape of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Having already stated that they won’t being displaying the follow-up to the Samsung Galaxy S II, despite leaks and much conjecture among Android fans, they’ll have to produce something to placate those who were holding out for the Galaxy S III. A couple device names have been discovered already, specifically the GT-P5100 and the GT-P3100, which have appeared as part of the process of applying for interoperability Wi-Fi certificates.
Hard details on the specifications of these two models are still thin on the ground, but there have been rumours of a Samsung tablet with a 2560 x 1600 (WXQGA) resolution screen (which is huge) and a 2GHz Exynos 5250 chip, with the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. As with any rumour, you have to take these things with a pinch of salt, but in my personal opinion, I’d say that what is actually revealed at MWC won’t be far off from these details. While there has been a few eyebrows raised at the supposed screen resolution and pixel density, this would be the sort of spec sheet to distract from the absence of a new top tier mobile phone and would make a bunch of Samsung tablet fans rather happy.
ASUS have already scored a winner by being the first manufacturer to bring to market a quad core tablet. The Transformer Prime has been very well received and demand for the tablet is still so high that ASUS are finding it difficult to fulfil orders. This is perhaps one of the good problems to have, the sort of thing that you hear football managers talking about when they have four inform strikers vying for two positions on the pitch, and given that ASUS already have a formidable strike force, you may wonder why they are pushing a new tablet. Well to be fair, this isn’t strictly speaking a tablet. The ASUS Padfone, is a smartphone that can be converted into a tablet PC. It has been on the horizon for quite some time, as it was first introduced in the summer of 2011, so it’s just about right to see its full release.
To mix things about a bit, it is thought that the Padfone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 as opposed to the Nvidia Tegra 3 which powers their current crowd pleaser. This model will also have a docking station giving it the added form of a netbook. It is designed to truly be a multi-purpose jack of all trades and if executed properly, may very well appeal to those who’d rather make one purchase and hit three birds with one stone.
HTC have been one of the manufacturers that have ridden the Android wave into hearts of many mobile phone users, but their attempt at a tablet, somewhat surprisingly, wasn’t as big a success. Unlike Samsung, who have been prolific in their production of tablets of varying dimensions (10.1, 8.9, 7.0, and so on), HTC just had the Flyer and that was it. It would seem the plan was to patiently wait until they had everything sorted out and were absolutely certain of what they wanted to produce. That they only have one tablet but seemingly hundreds of mobile phones suggests that their focus is not on the tablet market, but with the tablet market still in a growth stage and the mobile phone market pretty well saturated, there may well be a shift in focus.
To be perfectly honest, noise out of the HTC camp has been pretty quiet of late, last year there was some suggestion that a HTC Edge would be a tablet but this turned out to be a 4.7 inch, Tegra 3 flagship phone. Add an inch or two to the screen size and you have a pretty neat tablet, especially if you’re a fan of the Sense UI. Fingers crossed that a HTC tablet is announced and it lives up to expectations.