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Top 10 tablets to expect in 2014

Last updated on: February 04, 2014 20:59 IST

Top 10 tablets to expect in 2014

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The year 2013 was somewhat strange for tablets because we didn’t see many devices -- aside from the second generation Google Nexus 7 and Apple iPad Air -- blazing trails. Most of the other standout tablets were hybrids that could also function as ultrabooks.

Nonetheless, in 2014 consumers can expect a wider range of tablets with the odd transforming device or two thrown in for good measure. Take a look at our top tablets to expect in 2014. Some of the devices still remain rumoured and some are confirmed to be on their way already, but each and every device will undoubtedly make their own unique mark this year.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2

Along with the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Samsung also announced the high-end Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2.

While the two may not differ in terms of SoC options -- Snapdragon 800 or Exynos Octa core -- the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 features 3 GB of RAM and 32 to 64 GB of internal storage.

The 12.2-inch screen size also ensures you’ll be able to view more of that 2560x1600 Super Clear LCD resolution while maintaining a high pixel count per-inch.

While it lacks the stylus of the Note Pro 12.2, the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 is still an incredibly powerful device that features Android 4.4 KitKat with the best that TouchWiz UX has to offer. We’ll find out for ourselves just how much more involved TouchWiz has become on the tablets, especially given the innovations that Samsung has brought out with its S-Pen devices.

Note: Some pictures used in this slideshow are only for representational purpose. 

 


Image: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2
Photographs: Samsung.com

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Asus Transformer Book Duet

Asus has released a host of transforming devices, which can act as tablets on their own or be paired with a keyboard dock to act as an ultrabook (and add on to the battery life in the process).

The Asus Transformer Book Duet continued this trend when it was introduced at CES 2014 but with a twist: It can switch between Android 4.1 Jellybean and Windows 8.1. The 13-inch display is also backed by a fourth generation Intel Core i7 CPU.

When it comes to options, the Transformer Book Duet is most definitely the device to look for, especially since it can quickly transition between both OSes and even offer a choice between ultrabook functionality and tablet-sized portability.

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Image: Asus Transformer Book Duet
Photographs: asus.com

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Asus VivoNote Tab 8.0

Though still a relatively niche product, there’s been an increase in 8-inch tablets armed with styluses and pointing devices.

A key example is Samsung’s Note 8 and Note 10.1 series, which seemingly catered to artistes and ordinary users alike. The Asus VivoNote Tab 8.0 aimed to capture the same base in the Windows 8.1 segment and comes with a Wacom Stylus for a whole new experience.

The overall sensitivity and range of pressure is far above and beyond what is currently capable on other devices. Other than the 8-inch display, not a lot is known about the recently announced tablet but it’s definitely one of those devices to watch out for in 2014.

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Image: Asus VivoTab (11.6 inch)
Photographs: asus.com

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Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1

Panasonic isn’t known for catering to the widest range of consumers with its Toughpad series. Nonetheless, the Toughpad FZ-M1 adheres to the company’s standards by being dust and water resistant along with being operable at temperatures between -10 to 50 degrees centigrade.

The thick exterior also means it won’t be suffering from fall damage any time soon. But the surprising part is that it comes with a fourth generation Intel Core i5 CPU with 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD.

The 1280x800, 7-inch display might not be the best but the sheer amount of performance -- along with the ability to replace the battery -- and Windows 8.1 make it one of the better devices on the market. Its price may be out of range of most, but for those who need the extra protection, it’s worth it.

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Image: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1
Photographs: panasonic.com

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Nokia Lumia 2020

Nokia already released a 10-inch Windows 8.1 tablet with the Lumia 2520. Now, with the Lumia 2020, it’s looking for the more reasonably priced 8-inch option to sway consumers.

That’s not all as the Lumia 2020 is rumoured to be arriving with stylus support to go with the 8-inch, 1920x1080 resolution display. The processor hasn’t been confirmed though a Qualcomm chipset is expected and Windows RT 8.1 seems to be the default OS.

We’ll need to wait till MWC 2014, which is when the Lumia 1820 is also rumoured to be revealed, to know more details but it’s a testament to the influence of 8-inch, stylus-supported tablets when even Nokia is looking to make one. Does Windows RT 8.1 have enough to justify the stylus? Time will tell.

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Image: Nokia Lumia 2520
Photographs: nokia.com

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Google Nexus 10 2

Of the rumoured devices on this list that are the most hotly anticipated, the Google Nexus 10 2 probably ties with the iPad Pro. Not much is known about the device and what is known remains rumoured.

The Nexus 10 2 was apparently to appear at this year’s CES but missed the event entirely with nary a mention. It’s still unsure as to who is manufacturing the device this time -- be it Samsung, Asus or LG -- but rumours indicate that it could either have a Snapdragon 800 or Tegra 4 SoC along with 3 GB of RAM, up to 32 GB of storage and a 10-inch 2560x1600 resolution display.

Does that sound vaguely like the Samsung Galaxy Pro Tab 12.2 to you too?

Regardless, the wait continues for Google’s next iteration of the Nexus tablet. Hopefully it will overcome the somewhat mixed reviews that its predecessor received.

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Image: Google Nexus 10
Photographs: google.com

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Lenovo ThinkPad 8

Though there have been a good many devices unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, you won’t need to wait till later in the year to pick up some of the better devices. Take the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 for example.

It features a quad-core 2.4 GHz Intel Z3770 CPU with 2 GB of LPDDR3 RAM and a 128 GB SSD. You can even upgrade the RAM up till 8 GB and the SSD till 256 GB.

Battery life remains an issue with Windows 8.1 devices but with the Bay Trail CPU inside should be more than enough to last you a full day without sacrificing performance.

Combined with 3G and 4G LTE functionality, an 8.3-inch full HD IPS display and a lightweight frame, it’s one of the better Windows 8.1 tablets that you can pick up relatively early. It will go on sale later this month from $399 onwards.

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Image: Lenovo ThinkPad 8
Photographs: http://shop.lenovo.com/

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iPad Pro

Apple has been showcasing a larger degree of innovation with its devices as of late, especially in the iPad. We first had the iPad Mini, which aimed to be a more modest alternative to the premium 9.7-inch devices. Then there was the iPad Air that introduced the MacBook Air’s sleekness and lightweight exterior to the tablet range. What’s next?

Many are speculating that the next iPad will incorporate aspects of the MacBook Pro line. That is to say, it will function like a hybrid and come with a separate keyboard with its own USB ports. Multi-tasking will also seemingly be expanded beyond the typical iOS fashion, possibly through an upgrade with iOS 8.

Will both arrive this year? It’s a stretch but it’d seem odd if Apple didn’t offer some hybrid form for the iPad in 2014.

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Image: iPad Air
Photographs: apple.com

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Micromax Canvas LapTab

Dual OS functionality is the new “in” thing it seems and what better than a budget alternative to market to the masses? We would assume that’s the purpose behind the Micromax Canvas LapTab, which combines Android Jellybean and Windows 8.1 just like the Asus Transformer Book Duet.

The key difference lies in the fact that it’s a tablet, and even though you can pick up a wireless keyboard separately, the amount of power will be suitably reduced from an ultrabook/hybrid. Not that we mind -- if it brings down the price enough to make it affordable for the masses.

We’ll need to wait for specs and price confirmation but for now, the Canvas LapTab is certainly an interesting device to look out for in this era of big budget hybrids and tablets.

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Image: Micromax Canvas LapTab
Photographs: micromaxcanvas.co.in

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Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4

Samsung announced its Galaxy Tab Pro range at CES 2014 and seemingly set out to correct every possible criticism in the wake of its underwhelming Galaxy Tab 3 series.

The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 features a 2560x1600 Super Clear LCD display with either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 or Exynos Octa-core CPU. There’s also 2 GB of RAM and 16 to 32 GB of space.

Other big changes include Android 4.4 KitKat which has been skinned with TouchWiz UX and the latest features associated with the same. It will be interesting to see how battery life plays out given all the power on board but we’re significantly more upbeat about the Pro 8.4 due to the power it possesses.

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Image: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Photographs: samsung.com

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