Tablets in 2012: How Are They Going to Be?

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If you had to pick a device that will be the cynosure of the market in 2012, it would be none other than the 'Tablet'. Well! I choose 'Tablets' as I think 2012 will be the year when tablets are going to evolve as devices with a clear differentiation factor that will distinguish them from the general netbooks and laptops. "Why?" - You might be thinking. Read on to find out.

If MWC (Mobile World Congress) is anything to go by, tablets getting rolled out this year will have the following set of features:

1. HD Screens

The definition of HD is actually evolving to be different for different generations. While for tablets released in 2011, the resolution was approximately 1024 * 768 pixels, it will change in 2012. Tablets will be rolling out with double the resolution i.e. 2048 * 1536 pixels. Due to such high resolution, users of these tablets will really enjoy watching movies and video clips and the general media experience is going to be mind-blowing.

2. Quad-Core Processors

2011 was the year when tablets launched with Dual-Core processors. These were a significant improvement over the Single-Core counterparts. 2012 will be the year of Quad-Core processors which are in turn an improvement over their Dual-Core counterparts. Chip manufacturers like ARM, Qualcomm and Nvidia have already started to produce their Quad-Core chips and you can expect to see these chips in devices of Samsung and HTC pretty soon. In fact, Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the first device in the market to be sporting Tegra 3: a Quad-Core processor developed by Nvidia. The cardinal advantage with these processors is that the general UI experience is going to be much smoother with tasks getting executed in a much lesser time. The graphics are going to be much more detailed and the visual effects produced by Quad-Core processors will be more pronounced than the visual effects produced by Dual-Core processors.

3. 12+ Hour Battery Life

If you can recollect all the tablets released in 2011, you can figure out that only a handful of tablets had great battery life. Well! In 2012, this is all set to change. Tablets are going to be performing very well in the battery life department. The proof is already visible in a product like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Keyboard dock attached, the Prime will be able to chug along for up to 18 hours. At least, that's how Asus is advertising it. Though, it might not be able to deliver such enormous battery life it will definitely be way better than general tablets released in 2011. If you want further proof, try out the 'Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7' when it finds its way into the market and you will get to know what I mean.

4. LTE Connectivity

The flagship tablets of all leading manufacturers will be integrated with LTE connectivity which will enrich the browsing experience on such devices. Generally, consumers who purchase a tablet use it for media consumption. 'Browsing the Internet', during which the users also stream songs and videos, is one of the chief ways in which they consume the media and LTE connectivity will make this experience a really pleasant one.

Though it seems that the above features (which the tablets to be released in 2012 shall be integrated with) point to better devices, the question on the extent to which they have become better remains. Well, I say this for one reason: Apps. At the end of the day, how much ever powerful a tablet you'll be putting in the hands of the consumers, they'll be able to derive maximum satisfaction only from using the software that the tablet is shipping with and if the current 'App Ecosystem' is anything to go by, the user experience that the consumers shall have with the software is not going to lead to maximum satisfaction as most of the Apps in the market out there right now (forget 4 cores!!) actually don't even fully utilize 2 cores. So, the App ecosystem should also develop with a pace equivalent to the pace with which the hardware inside the tablets is being improved. The issue of how this has to be achieved is something which the industry itself has to address soon. But, as long as there is improvement, be it hardware or software, it is always good. Don't you think so?

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