Samsung Tab S2, iPad Air 3, Microsoft Surface: What we’re awaiting in the tablet space

The tablet market may be cannibalised by phablets and is miserably failing, but that hasn't stopped companies from building tablets. Here's a quick look at what the three leading companies are doing in the tablet space.


The tablet market may be cannibalised by phablets and is miserably failing, but that hasn't stopped companies from building tablets. Here's a quick look at what the three leading companies are doing in the tablet space.

Android
Though there is still no dearth of tablets when it comes to Android, most of them fall in the affordable price range and none are as popular as Apple's iPad. However, Samsung hasn't given up on crafting its best to go head-on with
the iPad. Last year, the Tab S was referred to as a great alternative to the iPad mini. Now the new S2 Tab models have been unveiled.

 Samsung Tab S2, iPad Air 3, Microsoft Surface: What we’re awaiting in the tablet space

Latest Samsung Tab to compete with Apple's iPad Air

The Galaxy Tab S2 will be available in 8-inch and 9.7-inch form factors at 5.6mm, weighing 265 grams and 389 grams, respectively. Samsung calls Tab S2 its ‘thinnest and lightest’ tablet in that size, obviously to take on the Air
2 and the alleged Air 3 expected later this year. At 5.6mm, it is 0.6mm thinner than the iPad Air 2 launched last year. The larger variant is the same size as the iPad Air 2, and manages to offer the same display resolution while weighing less. When it comes to storage space, 32GB and 64GB models are available with expandable slot of up to 128GB, something Apple doesn't offer.

The addition of a fingerprint scanner and the ability to video two apps on the display, further hints at the tablet trying to compete with the iPad.

The Samsung tablet also comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office Solutions and allows storing up to 100GB of files on the cloud via OneDrive for two years for free. It is also compatible with the advanced Book Cover Keyboard that delivers the same convenience of a standard PC keyboard with a built-in trackpad.

Google's pure breed Nexus series has also tried to make its presence felt in the tablet space. However, its latest Nexus 9 also failed to emerge as an iPad-killer.

iOS

Apple's iPad has witnessed its first downfall ever since the original iPad was announced way back in 2009. The company is now said to be working on the successors to the iPad Air 2 that was called the best iPad so far and the iPad mini 3.

iPad Air 2

iPad Air 2

Going by the usual pattern, the new devices should be coming sometime around October - November. Some reports also claim that the company may announce the long-time rumoured iPad Pro instead of the iPad Air 3. However, there is no concrete word on whether that iPad Pro which has faced multiple delays.

Those not in the know, the iPad Pro is the company's 12-inch iPad that will come equipped with a stylus. The stylus is likely to be made available as an optional accessory.

The iPad mini 4 is also believed to be the last in the mini series. Some of the speculated/rumoured upgrades to the new iPads include the A9X processor, 3GB RAM, an improved camera and more.

Windows

Microsoft hasn't had a great run when it comes to tablets. The Surface tablets from the company haven't been able to make a mark, despite a tablet-friendly UI. With the upcoming Windows 10, this may change, as the new OS is said to be mobile-centric and puts cloud first. The successor to the Surface Pro 3 is now said to be in the pipeline.

Surface Pro 3

Surface Pro 3

The alleged Surface Pro 4 tablet is likely to release alongside Windows 10, as the company will try and showcase its single OS or multiple platforms. Windows 10 will ensure that desktops, mobiles, laptops, tablets, 2-in-1 devices will all run the same Windows 10 OS, which will be optimised based on the form factor. The tablet is said to compete with iOS and Android when it comes to sleekness, with upgrades like ultra-thin form factor, larger display, Intel's new Skylake processor and more. Here are some key highlights of Windows 10.

To compete in the lower price bracket, the company had recently unveiled the Surface 3, a cheaper version of the Surface pro 3.

Going by the recent reports from Gartner and IDC, the tablet market continued to face decline as the first quarter 2015 ended. Shipments of tablets and “two-in-one” devices that combine tablet and laptop features sank to 47.1 million in a drop of nearly six percent from the first three months of last year, according to market-tracker IDC. With Samsung and Apple both losing market share, the future of tablets seems quite uncertain.


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