Tablets are invading our schools, our offices, and our homes. Back in June, we heard that nearly a third of U.S. Internet users already own a tablet. The vast majority of them have an iPad, but Apple is no longer the only company at the table and we’re seeing more and more tablets announced every day. If you’ve yet to take the tablet plunge, or perhaps you’re looking to snag a second tablet or upgrade, we’ve got a roundup of the best upcoming tablets (and rumored tablets) for you.
If you can’t wait, be sure to check our list of the our favorite tablets currently on the market.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Rumors gave way to confirmation from mobile boss, JK Shin that the Galaxy Note 8.0 will be shown off at MWC this year. You can probably guess how big the screen is going to be (the clue is in the name). Samsung seems to be intent on introducing devices at every possible size from small budget smartphone through phablets to large tablets. We expect it to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or later and sport a quad-core processor. The resolution is likely to be 1280×800 pixels and the big draw (if you’ll pardon the pun) is the inclusion of Samsung’s super stylus – the S-Pen.
Sony Xperia Tablet ZCheck out our review of the Sony Xperia tablet Z.
Sony’s flagship Android smartphone, the Xperia Z, grabbed the headlines at CES this year and the company has already confirmed the existence of an Xperia Tablet Z. With a 10.1-inch Reality Display at 1920×1200 pixels, a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, support for LTE and NFC – not to mention Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and an 8.1-megapixel camera – this is worth checking out. It’s a svelte slate that’s only 6.9mm thick and weighs in at just less than 500 grams. If you aren’t already excited then maybe the fact it’s waterproof and dustproof will be clincher.
LG Tab Book
Here’s a Windows 8 tablet from LG with a built-in keyboard and support for 4G LTE. It will run full Windows 8 on an Intel Core i5 processor, and we’re expecting an 11.6-inch display with a 1366×768 pixel resolution. It could be the ideal solution for students and mobile employees seeking something smaller than a laptop, but not ready to give up a physical keyboard. A button at the side allows the screen to slide up at an angle to reveal the keyboard, but that does also mean this is a chunky-looking and relatively heavy tablet.
Nokia Windows Tablet
We know Nokia and Microsoft are the best of pals, so could a Nokia tablet be on the cards? There have been persistent rumors about a 10-inch, dual-core Nokia tablet running Windows RT. The Finnish mobile giant was apparently keen to see how Windows tablets performed in the market before committing and so it might never make it out of the R&D department. Nokia does have a well-deserved reputation for quality hardware, so it would be interesting to see the company dive into the tablet market.
The iPad mini refused to conform to the 7-inch small tablet brigade on Android and now we are seeing more Android tablets with that extra inch. The ZTE V81 wants a head-to-head and it boasts an 8-inch display with a 1024×768 pixel resolution, a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and 4GB of storage. Thankfully, it does have a microSD card slot and there’s also GPS, Bluetooth, and a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera alongside a VGA front-facing camera. It doesn’t sound irresistible, but ZTE will be looking to deliver that knockout blow on price and we expect it to be very affordable.
We’ve had two Padfones from Asus already so it’s about time we got a Fonepad. While the Padfone is a tablet shell that you can slide a separate smartphone in and out of, the Fonepad is apparently a more conventional hybrid device which combines smartphone features into a tablet. Early rumors point to an Intel Atom Lexington processor, a 7-inch 1280×800 pixel screen, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a 3-megapixel camera, and 16GB of storage, which would suggest a budget price. It should also have cellular support, but we’re talking 3G not LTE.
On the heels of the budget Iconia B1, a 7-inch Android tablet for under $150, we’re expecting to see 8-inch and 10-inch Android tablet releases from Acer. It looks like the MediaTek MT6589 quad-core processor will be powering them, but we don’t have any other details yet. The specs may not match the cutting edge tablets, but what we can expect is extremely competitive pricing.
Polaroid M7 and M10
A pair of Android tablets from Polaroid might sound unlikely, but that’s exactly what the M7 and M10 are. Those numbers refer to the screen size and both tablets have a 1280×800 pixel resolution, run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, sport 2-megapixel front-facing cameras, and have microSD card slots. The M7 has a dual-core processor and 8GB of storage. The M10 goes quad-core and has 16GB of storage, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and HDMI out. These are budget devices at an eyebrow-raising $130 and $230 respectively.
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix
If the Lenovo Ideacentre Horizon strikes you as a bit big for a tablet at 27 inches then perhaps you’d prefer this stylish hybrid. The ThinkPad Helix has an Intel Core i7 processor, runs Windows 8, and has an 11.6-inch full HD 1080p display. If you want to go to town you can get 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, NFC support, and LTE connectivity. There’s a keyboard attachment that doubles up as a stand and offers additional ports, or you can just take the screen and use it like a conventional tablet. It also has a fancy stylus, or digitizer pen, with some handy functionality.
Panasonic 4K 20-inch Tablet
Is 20 inches too big for a tablet? Before you answer that take a look at Panasonic’s 4K tablet. It is basically a Windows 8 all-in-one with an incredibly gorgeous display. It will be available in Intel Core i5 or i7 varieties and it has an accelerometer and support for a Bluetooth pen which could make it a worthy contender for artists. Is it practical? No, not really. It weighs 2.4 kg and it’s over 10mm thick. Inside there’s 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and a 720p HD camera. The resolution is 3840×2560 pixels and it can handle 10-finger gesture control. We anticipate an off-putting price tag.
iPad Mini 2
There’s no indication exactly when we might expect to see a new version of the iPad Mini, but you can bet that we will. Reports suggest that it has been selling well and possibly even cannibalizing sales of Apple’s larger iPad line. The big complaint with the original was the screen resolution and so we expect the follow up to have a Retina display. There have also been rumors about a thicker body which suggests a beefed up battery (likely to handle the high-resolution screen). With the iPad Mini still flying off the shelves it may be a while before the new version makes an appearance.
Are there any other new tablets on the way that you’re excited about? Post a comment let us know about your upcoming tablet pick.