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Oct 25, 2014

Reasons Why a Sony 12-Inch Xperia Tablet Might Be Successful

People love big screened tablets. Or that’s what device makers want to believe. Microsoft has the Surface Pro 3 and Samsung has the Galaxy NotePRO and TabPRO bunch, while Apple is said to be prepping the iPad Pro.

All these tablets have a few things in common; they have large 12-inch screens. and are targeted at the professional crowd. But is there room for more big-screen slates on the market? Sony seems to believe this is the case, as sources inside the Taiwanese supply chain claim the PlayStation maker is looking to launch a 12-inch tablet of its own in Q1 2015. But industry watchers are quite ambivalent whether or not large tablets are destined to succeed in the market and with fierce competition coming from Microsoft, Samsung and Apple, does Sony’s large Xperia tab have a chance of survival? It could and here’s why.

The Sony Tablet might have a 4K panel

So far there aren’t a lot of 4K tablets on the market. Panasonic has a huge 20-inch one, but apart from that consumer-friendly devices with such an advanced resolution have failed to appear. However back in 2013 a report came in saying the unified forces behind Japan Display (Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi) announced they have managed to squeeze a 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) panel into a 12.1-inch TFT module, creating a screen with an amazing 365ppi. The panel was put on display at the FPD International 2013 exhibition in Japan, where it was revealed it was highly power efficient and quite thin too. Since then, we haven’t heard much about the technology, but if the rumors are true and Sony is prepping a 12-inch tablet, then it’s quite plausible to speculate the product will arrive with a 4K panel, which will place it above the competition.

People are starting to look at tablets as worthy laptop replacements

A good example is the Surface 3 Pro which is offered with a keyboard companion and a stylus. The tablet also has good internal configuration, so demanding professionals can experience a decent workflow. Since the tablet runs Windows 8.1 out of the box, owners will be able to access all the apps they need to be productive. During its recent earning call, Microsoft said that Surface Pro 3 sales are doing great, but it didn’t specify exactly how many units were sold to this date. But Windows devices are traditionally believed to be more work-oriented than Android one.

The Sony Xperia 12.1-inch tablet is more likely to run Android. Which type of Android we don’t know, but given the fact that the tablet will launch next year we can guess it’s going to be Android 5.0 Lollipop. The OS has been designed to be more seamless and more secure, which is definitely something important if you’re going to work with the tablet. Another feature that will appeal to business users is better multitasking across apps and across devices. The OS also features Android Smart Lock, a security feat that lets users unlock the tablet with a smartwatch. And since Sony just launched its SmartWatch 3 with Android Wear you see where this is headed.

Bottom line is that an Android tablet might prove to just as productive as a Windows 8.1 tablets in some scenarios. Especially if Sony throws in an optional (or not) keyboard companion and a stylus (which is mentioned in the report)

Sony’s 12-inch tablet could be super-thin

Sony is known for putting out some of the world’s thinnest tablets. Before the iPad Air 2 and Dell Venue 8 7000 were released, the company held the world’s record in tablet skinniness with the Xperia Z2 Tablet which was only 0.25 inches / 6.4 mm in profile. If Sony could manage and maintain that anorexic frame, it would certainly prove a major selling point especially for business users looking to get productive on the go. But if we’re to stick to the previous theory which includes a 4K panel in the mix, Sony might not be able to take things to very extreme levels. Still we can hope the company will surprise us, as it has done so many times in the past. To compare the Samsung Galaxy NotePRO is 8 mm / 0.31 inches while the Surface Pro 3 is 9.1 mm / 0.35 inches, so if Sony could manage to keep things below 8 mm it would be great.

Sony Xperia 12-inch tablet anyone?
Image credits to GSMArena

Samsung Galaxy A7 Specs Include 5.5-Inch FHD Display, 64-Bit Processor

The most powerful smartphone in the Alpha lineup has yet to be officially introduced. Samsung hasn’t confirmed the Galaxy A7 and we don’t know when this will happen, but judging by the flow of rumors we’re not that far from an official reveal.

The South Korean company is expected to launch at least three more Galaxy Alpha series smartphones in the coming months: A3, A5 and A7. For the time being, Samsung Galaxy Alpha is the only member of the family, but that is supposed to change very soon. We reported earlier today that the cheapest member of the Alpha lineup of smartphones, the A3 has just been approved by FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which means that Samsung might announce it anytime now. Little was known about the Galaxy A7 though, which should be Samsung’s masterpiece in the Alpha series. While the smartphones in the Alpha family aren’t made for power, those who prefer design and premium materials over performance will find that Samsung hasn’t really forgot about hardware.

More details on the Samsung Galaxy A7 spec sheet have just leaked via Dutch blog site GalaxyClub, which point to a mid-range smartphone rather than a high-end one. If the information leaked proves to be accurate, then it’s a bit disappointing considering this should be the top-tier device in the Alpha series. Anyway, it appears that Samsung Galaxy A7 will pack a large 5.5-inch full HD (1080p) capacitive touchscreen display, which puts it in the phablets category.

The premium smartphone is expected to go on sale by the end of 2014

In addition, the smartphone will be equipped with a 64-bit processor clocked at 1.5GHz. However, it’s unclear which Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset the Galaxy A7 will employ, but considering the clock value it should be better than the Snapdragon 410 which powers the Galaxy A3. The new details have been spotted in the phone’s User Agent Profile, which means it’s less likely to be inaccurate. We also know Samsung Galaxy A7 will ship with Android 4.4.4 KitKat operating system out of the box, which suggests that the smartphone may be released by the end of the year. The leaked User Agent Profile also mentions that Samsung SM-A700FD features dual-SIM support, so Samsung may in fact launch multiple Galaxy A7 versions.

Last but not least, the latest rumors on Galaxy A7 claim the Alpha series smartphone should be available on the market for around $450 (€355) - $500 (€395) outright. We will keep an eye out for any additional details, so stay tuned.

Samsung Galaxy A7 User Agent Profile
Image credits to GalaxyClub.nl

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Teardown, Shows Its Battery and SSD are Swappable

Lenovo has barely announced the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, the successor of the popular Yoga 2 Pro and the first testing units have already reached a few lucky parties.

Some folks were curious enough to perform a tear-down on this sleek convertible which takes advantage of Intel’s latest Core M platform. PC Pop did exactly what we told you, dismembering the convertible to see what secrets lay under its hood. It turns out the internal parts are quite easily accessible, but users won’t be able to swap most of them out (as seen at Tab Tech). 

Behold the big battery!

Due to the thinness of the device, Lenovo had to design certain components to be extremely sleek. The 2-in-1 is only 12.8 mm / 0.5 inches in profile and the device won’t feature big upgrade options. Anyway, as we told you before, the back panel on the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro can be easily removed, as it can be fixed with ten screws. Once on the inside, you’ll probably notice the huge battery lying dormant there. But given the fact that we’re talking about a 13.3-inch product, we shouldn’t be surprised by the battery size, which is of 5900 mAh capacity. What’s surprising is that Lenovo has managed to slim it down to only 2.5mm / 0.09 inch. It’s worth mentioning the power source is only screwed in, so in case of an emergency it can be swapped out.

Above the large battery lives the Wi-Fi module, and SSD sits neatly on the right side. Both these components can be swapped out and replaced without much problem. So if you buy a smaller model with less memory, you might as well upgrade it after a while.

A few parts are removable, but not all

Sadly, the same can’t be said of RAM memory, because this unit is not easily removable, so we don’t advise you to try and do so. Another interesting aspect to note is that even though the Intel Core M chip doesn't necessitate active cooling, Lenovo has bundled a small, thin metal fan under the hood. However, you shouldn't be able to hear it at all, because it will work quietly (only in Turbo Boost mode). In theory, the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro looks like an apt machine, but there are some indications you might not get the level of performance you might be hoping for.

In a recent article, we also already told you that Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro had already been subjected to a few benchmarks that revealed CPU throttling issues. In the most disappointing scenario when temperatures go off the roof, performance levels will be downsized, thus dropping even lower than what the Yoga 2 Pro offered.

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro gets tear down treatment

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro close up on components

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro shows insides

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro battery
Images credits to PC Pop

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