While 2016 has been great for smartphone lovers, there has been close to zero action in the tablet world, but it seems this is going to change come 2017.
Google, Apple and Microsoft were both expected to come in with refreshed versions of their old tablets before this year ends, but it seems none of them will be honoring the expectations of users. Instead, the tablet war is set to kick off in 2017 with the likes of Microsoft Surface Pro 5, the Google Pixel 7 (Nexus 7 2016) and the Apple iPad Pro 2 all set for to be launched.
There has been too much talk about the Google Nexus 7 2016, which should see a name change like its smartphone counterparts to Google Pixel 7. The story is more of the same with the Microsoft Surface Pro 5, which many expected to be launched at the Windows event a few weeks ago, however, Apple has remained a bit silent with regards to the iPad Pro 2, the supposed successor to the iPad Pro released in 2015.
So, what makes these three tablets the most anticipated devices of 2017? Let’s take a look at the rumors and speculations surrounding each of them.
Microsoft Surface Pro 5
The current Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a magnificent tablet to have, but Microsoft is set to take things to the next level with a new Surface Pro 5 slate. Like its predecessor, the Surface Pro 5 should be a 2-in-1 tablet that can also work as a PC. The device was supposed to be out this year, but the company is said to be waiting for the next-gen Intel processors, the Kaby Lake SoC. The Surface Pro 5 will reportedly carry three RAM options of 4GB, 8GB and 16GB. The current Surface Pro 4 has up to 256GB of internal storage, but this should change with the release of the Surface Pro 5, with the device expected to ship with up to 512GB of internal storage.
In order to bury the battery issues that befell its predecessor, Microsoft Surface Pro 5 should come in with a much larger battery unit that will deliver a longer battery life. Given its Spring 2017 release date, the Surface Pro 5 is expected to come preinstalled with Windows 10 Redstone 2 out of the box.
Apple iPad Pro 2
Apple released the iPad Pro in September 2015 and later on in March 2016, a new iPad Pro with 9.7 inches display size was also launched to the market. With this new compact model, lovers of this Pro tablet could not have their specs rammed in smaller package.
Recent talk has claimed that Apple will shift to releasing three models of the Apple iPad Pro 2 come 2017, with a new 10.5-inch model slipping between the two screen sizes. When looking at the current iPad Pro lineup, you will realize that the tablet has high-end hardware specs and features. As a result, expect the 2017 iPad Pro 2 models to come with the best-in-the-market hardware, probably an A11 chipset that boasts the latest 10nm process.
Apple will pack 3GB RAM modules in each of the three iPad Pro tablets alongside the same storage options you find on the iPhone 7, however, don’t be surprised if Cupertino adds a 512GB storage option. As for the release date, it should be happening in Spring 2017.
Google Pixel 7
As noted earlier, Google Pixel 7 could be the name for the next tablet that the search engine giant unveils. It was rumored that a Google Nexus 7 2016 tablet will be out before the end of this year, but with the change in names to Pixel, word has it that the next tablet will also drop the Nexus brand in favor of Google Pixel 7.
Whether this will happen or not is still unknown, but the fact that Huawei confirmed that it backed off from the deal to make the 2016 Google phones due to the name change, it is possible this could also be the case for the Google Pixel 7. Apparently, reports claim that the device will carry flagship hardware specs and features enough to compete with the iPad Pro 2 and Microsoft Surface Pro 5.
As usual, the device will carry a 7-inch display size, but Google will opt for a QHD panel with 2K resolution. Under the hood, the Pixel 7 tablet will pack a Snapdragon 821 SoC alongside a RAM of 4GB and 64GB of storage. Some rumors claim that a microSD card slot will be on board to help the device compete with the Surface Pro 5 and iPad Pro 2 in terms of storage, but this is not guaranteed, especially when looking at past Google devices.
Like the Surface Pro 5 and iPad Pro 2, the Google Pixel 7 has also picked up an early 2017 release date, but be warned that this is not the official communication from Google.