The Android-based mobile-platform tablet is existing as a viable product class for those of us who want to keep our mobile-platform computing options “open-frame” and without being beholden to a particular manufacturer. But Samsung has effectively cornered the high-end part of this market especially with its Galaxy Tab S series of tablets.
Here, these tablets are about highly-strung AMD CPUs running the show, slimline designs and displays that use AMOLED or similar high-quality display technology. Often they are seen by Android users as being their platform’s equivalent to the latest top-shelf iPads that Apple offers.
Lenovo has been making a range of Android tablets including the Yoga variants that have an integrated kickstand. But, compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, they were positioned more as everyday mid-tier products with something unique in some cases. That is although they were running value-for-money Windows and Chrome OS laptops with product ranges like ThinkPad and IdeaPad, thanks to them continuing on IBM’s personal-computer legacy.
But most other manufacturers have been sticking to mid-tier or low-end products for the Android platform with a lot of such products not offering much in performance, display quality or other desireable attributes. In a lot of cases, these have ended up as utility tablets for use around the home or office.
Now Lenovo is lining up an Android tablet that is set to answer Samsung’s latest Galaxy Tab S product. This will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 CPU and at least 8Gb RAM and use an OLED display. It will be expected to run Android 11. It is due to people considering Lenovo still as a viable Android mobile-platform tablet supplier that innovates. If Lenovo can achieve the same kind of performance, display quality, battery runtime or other attributes as the latest Galaxy Tab S for a lot less money, they could easily kick off a product war of some sort.
What I see of this is pressure upon both companies to yield high-end high-performance mobile-tablets for those of us who like the open-frame computing approach in these products. This would allow increased value-for-money when it comes to this product class and could encourage more innovation to take place.
If it leads to a genuine “product war” taking place between two or more companies for their top-shelf products of a kind like what is happening with Bluetooth active-noise-cancelling headphones and earphones; it could see mid-tier and even budget products also benefitting. But for this to happen, more companies need to effectively answer Samsung’s Galaxy S series tablets when it comes to performance, display quality or value for money.