At Apple’s remarkably predictable event today, Tim Cook and pals announced the company’s new line of iPads.We had been expecting a refresh of one of the most successful consumer electronics for some time now, so this news did not really come as a surprise.
Amongst many other announcements at today’s event, Google showed off its brand new Nexus 7 device. Just like last year’s relatively successful model, Mountain View’s newest tablet also features a 7-inch screen, a rather large bezel, a soft-touch back plate, and a front facing camera. But fear not, the 7 is far from the same creature Google produced last year, the newest Nexus tablet comes with a heap of hardware advances.
Just announced at Mobile World Congress 2013, HP has unveiled its new tablet, the Slate 7. As the name suggests, the tablet is a 7-inch device running Android 4.1 armed with a 1.6GHz Arm Coretex A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and a 1024×600 LCD display. Offered at only $169, the device is even cheaper than Google’s competing Nexus 7 and sports a microSD card slot which the Nexus 7 does not. However, it’s hard to see where HP wants to fit the Slate 7 into the market considering the Nexus 7 is a mere $30 more expensive and comes with 16GB of internal storage, Android 4.2, and has an overall higher build quality. Regardless, HP plans to release multiple tablets this year with their own Albert Torres stating “HP is the number one PC manufacturer in the world, and we want to be the number one computer vendor in the world. That means we need to be in the tablet space.” Whether or not they are able to accomplish that goal remains to be seen.
Last year at CES, Razer showed off a prototype dubbed Project Fiona, the self proclaimed product that would “resurrect” PC gaming by making it affordable. Fiona was Razer’s initial foray into mobile gaming in the form of a tablet, with two controller sticks bolted on the side. Unfortunately for nobody, Project Fiona never came to fruition, instead being preemptively supplanted by the Razer Blade, Razer’s not so affordable gaming laptop.
Microsoft’s x86 version of the Surface tablet is set to arrive on some unspecified date in January. The Pro will be priced at $899 for 64gb and $999 for 128gb. As far as we know there will not be bundling prices with the Touch Cover, but that may change as we get closer to launch, however the Pro will come with the Surface Pen. The Surface Pro offers a 1080 screen, a Core i5, and a full version of Windows 8 rather than the light weight Windows RT, meaning users can download desktop applications.
The Surface Pro is an interesting product in that it is technically a tablet, but at a price point that is quite a bit higher than the competition. That said, it also runs a fully fledged operating system, again, unlike the competition. This might imply that the Surface Pro will compete more with Ultrabooks as opposed to tablets. If this is the case, and it almost certainly is, the $899 price tag is actually pretty aggressive.
Update: Panos Panay, head of the Surface team at Microsoft is claiming the Surface Pro will have about half the battery life of the Surface RT, so roughly four hours.