Mobile Devices

Apple Presents... The iPad

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Apple announces an unnumbered tablet refresh-- the simply named iPad replaces the iPad Air 2 while promising "best in-class performance at its most affordable price ever."

iPad refreshThe iPad features a 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 resolution Retina display (one lacking full lamination or anti-reflective coating, curiously enough) and runs on a faster A9 processor. It also includes 32/128GB storage, 8MP rear-facing iSight camera, 1.2MP front-facing FaceTime camera, dual speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack and Touch ID built into the Home button. Wireless connectivity comes via 802.11ac wifi and Bluetooth 4.2.

Being a basic iPad model it lacks iPad Pro features such as the Smart Connector, support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard and 4K video recording.

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Samsung Intros Galaxy Tab S3, Book at MWC

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Samsung launches a pair of tablet offerings at Mobile World Congress 2017-- the Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book, with the first designed for media consumption while the other is aimed at professionals.

Samsung Galaxy Book Both tablets feature HDR video support, as well as Samsung Flow biometric authentication and improved S Pen support, together with 13MP rear-/5MP front-facing cameras, expandable storage via microSD card, fast-charging capability and support for Pogo keyboards with no separate charging or pairing required.

The 9.7-inch Tab S3 is an Android Nougat-powered number promising a "cinema-like experience" with a Super AMOLED 2048 x 1536 resolution display and a quad-stereo speaker setup tuned by Harman's AKG. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and includes 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, integrated 4G connectivity and a 6000mAh battery. A next-generation S Pen stylus is included in the package.

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Chuwi Presents Hi13 Windows Hybrid

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Chuwi hi13Chinese tablet maker Chuwi announces the Hi13, a 13.5-inch Windows-powered hybrid device one can safely describe as a Microsoft Surface rival

The Hi13 features a 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000 resolution touchscreen, and is powered by an Intel Celeron N3450 CPU with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage (expandable to 128GB via microSD slot). It handles stylus input via HiPen H3 stylus, while a detachable keyboard turns it into a notebook.

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Yoga Book Gets Budget Version With Yoga A12

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Lenovo presents a budget version of the Yoga Book hybrid device-- the Yoga A12, an Android tablet featuring the same touch-based Halo keyboard.

Lenovo Yoga A12Described as an ideal laptop replacement for customers in emerging markets, the Yoga A12 has a 12.2-inch display and carries an Intel Atom x5 CPU, 2GB RAM and 32GB storage. It is 5.4mm thin, weighs around 1kg and claims "immersive cinema-like sound" through the addition of Dolby Atmos technology.

As mentioned earlier, the Yoga A12 also includes the Halo keyboard-- essentially a touch surface with a virtual QWERTY keyboard. Lenovo says the keyboard offers haptic feedback to help users improve their typing, but the version found in the Yoga A12 lacks the Yoga Book's pen-based input.

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Delayed Launch for Next iPads?

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According to DigiTimes Apple is working on 3 iPad models for 2017, but the new tablets "may not be announced or even released in the market until the second half of 2017."

iPad trioThe tablets were supposed to be announced during Q2 2017, but "lower-than-expected" yield rates for the 10-nanometer manufacturing process apparently led to launch delays. As a result Apple will also be looking into getting components for secondary suppliers.

DigiTimes adds the 3 iPads set to launch this year are a 9.7-inch model with a "friendly price range," a 10.5-inch model armed with the A10X processor and an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple supposedly plans to have the 10.5-inch model replace the existing 9.7-inch line, with the 9.7-inch iPad becoming an entry-level device aimed at the education sector.

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