January 22, 2013, 8:30 AM —
Yesterday saw a flurry of news announcements and rumors of upcoming Android tablets. It's been a while since we saw this much activity around Android in a single day so I though I'd recap.
First up, Sony announced the 10" Xperia Tablet Z. This tablet skips the 'folded magazine' profile of the "S" tablets that Sony currently produces. Instead they're going for a super-slim profile; the Z is just 6.9 mm thick and weighs only 495 grams. It isn't sacrificing power for thickness and weight though. Inside is a quad-core chip (the Snapdragon APQ8064), 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage space. The screen is 1920x1200, giving it a decent 224 PPI. No pricing info is available and in fact a release outside of Japan hasn't been confirmed. GigaOm has some more details on the Tablet Z.
Next up, Samsung tells us it's bringing an 8" Galaxy Note to Mobile World Congress, according to an iNews24 post translated by Engadget. Assuming everything is accurate, the word comes from Samsung's head of mobile JK Shin himself. We'll have to wait for MWC for more details but if you've been considering a Galaxy Note it may be prudent to wait a few weeks.
And now on into the fun world of speculation. Bright Side News claims to have had a chance to play with a Google Nexus 10 Mark II tablet. According to Bright Side's Theo Valich, the Nexus 10 is a bit under-powered thanks to the crazy high number of pixels it needs to push around (it has that 2560x1600 resolution display), so Google is working on a new iteration with a Mali T678 GPU that has 8 cores.
Valich suggests that this new Nexus 10 might be announced at MWC but won't be hitting retail until the "Back 2 School" period.
What adds some interest to this rumor is that the Nexus 10 is sold out on Google Play currently, and Google I/O is in May this year. Rather than announcing a Nexus 10 Mark II at MWC, perhaps Google plans on holding it back for May. They always have some kind of new hardware to show off (and give away!) at Google I/O and so it seems unlikely to me that they'd announce one device in February and another in May. Of course by May the Nexus 7 will be due for a refresh, as well.
With Mobile World Congress about a month away, I'm sure this won't be the last Android tablet rumor we hear in near future. Stay tuned!
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.