With the Mobile World Congress (MWC) industry event around the corner, there are rumblings aplenty of new tablets on the horizon. We take a look at the latest leaks and assess the rumours.
Although MWC is a huge event, expect some notable absences. Manufacturers including Apple don’t reveal their products here, preferring instead to orchestrate events on their own terms.
A new iPad (or two)
Apple has been unusually quiet on the tablet front recently. While its most recent financial results confirmed that the devices were doing gangbusters, suprising nobody, we haven’t actually seen a new iPad model in almost a year, and that was the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The popular Mini line up hasn’t been refreshed since September 2015, and the last Air model was revealed in 2014, which in tech terms might as well have been a hundred years ago.
Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted there were ‘exciting things to come’ for the iPad. Of course, he would say that, but with the range overdue a refresh, we’re confident that there’s something in the pipeline for 2017.
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A new Samsung tablet practically confirmed
Apple may be the most recognisable tablet brand, but Samsung is giving it a run for its money, especially with the popular S2 tablet, which surprised us when we tested it last year (and you can find out why in our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 review). We won’t have long to wait for the next Samsung tablet, as press invites have already been sent out for an unveiling of something on 26 February at MWC, heavily hinting that it’s another tablet.
Our money would be on an S3 – given the success of the S2 and Apple’s apparent lethargy for new iPads, it makes sense for Samsung to try and swoop in with a competing device. We’d expect it to be a powerful and premium tablet but with a more modest price tag than the equivalent Apple model.
A Microsoft Surface Pro 5?
Microsoft’s Surface range, pitched as a tablet and laptop in one, may be a premium offering, but that hasn’t hampered its success, with the company revealing in 2016 that sales of the Surface line-up were up 38%.
It’s fair to say that the reception to the Surface Pro 4 has been positive overall (read what we thought of it), so we can expect to see an addition to the range soon. The last model, the Pro 4, was revealed in October 2015. The new Surface Book and Surface Studio were unveiled last year at its October event, but the Surface Pro was notable by its absence. We would expect news shortly and, much like the 4 range, we think that it will be stuffed with impressive specs, along with having a premium price.
There are rumblings of a slew of new Lenovo tablets being unveiled at MWC at the end of the month, and with good reason – details of a previously unknown Lenovo model have appeared in GeekBench, the popular benchmarking software. Listed as the TB-X304, its specs imply that it will be a budget model, with a 9.4-inch screen, 2GB of Ram and a 1.4GHz quad-core processor. It could be a 9-inch addition to the TAB3 range, which is already available in 7 & 8-inch variants. We won’t have long to wait to find out.
Of course, if you can’t wait to buy a new tablet, there are plenty of stunning ones to choose from right now, from high-end models for business users, to family-friendly slates with modest price tags. Check out our tablet reviews to find the perfect one for you.