Barcelona, Spain — The Mobile World Congress (MWC) wasn’t the place to go for new tablets.
Global growth is projected by Strategy Analytics to slow to 6 percent in 2015 following years of explosive growth.
With sales like that, only Sony and Lenovo among major suppliers chose to unveil new tablets at the trade show, with Sony unveiling what it called the world’s lightest and slimmest 10-inch tablet, the Xperia Z4. It’s the same depth at 6.1mm as the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2.
Lenovo replaced two opening-price Wi-Fi Android tablets, an 8-inch model and 10.1- inch model, while retaining their respective $129 and $199 price points. The Tab 2 A8 and Tab 2 A10 are the industry’s first tablets with Dolby Atmos surround decoding, which delivers an object-based surround experience through any pair of headphones, Lenovo said.
Here’s what the tablets offer:
Sony: The Z4 with Android 5.0 Lollipop OS will be rolled out globally and to the U.S. in 4G LTE and Wi-Fi variants starting in June. Both versions are 6.1mm thick.
The new tablet is positioned as the world’s brightest tablet among leading tablets with screen sizes of more than 8 inches to 10.1 inches and with 2K display (at least 2,048 by 1,080 pixels). Screen content can be viewed in direct sunlight.
In other enhancements, the new model features 2K display compared with the predecessor Z2’s 1,920 by 1,200 display. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64-bit processor delivers 4x2GHz 4x1.5GHz processing speed, up from the Z2’s 2.3GHz quad-core processor.
The new model also adds 192kHz/24-bit highresolution audio decoding and playback, DSEE HX processing to up-scale standard music files to near-high-res, and proprietary LDAC technology to deliver high-res music files in near-high-res quality to LDAC-equipped Bluetooth headphones.
Carryover features include 3GB RAM and 1080p video capture. The 8-inch Z3 was the company’s first tablet with 4K capture.
Another carryover feature is PS4 Remote Play, enabling a Wi-Fi connection to the PS4 to stream PS4 games to the tablet, which plugs into a handheld Dual Shock 4 wireless controller to play the games.
Lenovo: The $129 Wi-Fi Tab 2 A8 is the company’s first Android 5.0 tablet, which runs Lollipop in pure form. The $199 Tab 2 A 10 features Android 4.4 KitKat but will get a Lollipop upgrade, expected in June. Both are also the company’s first 64-bit tablets. They feature MediaTek 64-bit quad-core processors running at 1.3Hz and 1.5GHz, respectively
Both will be available starting in April and June, respectively, in North America.