Sales of tablet devices have seen a a phenomenal rise in recent years, both as a product for media consumption, as well as a productivity tool. With ever more manufacturers hopping onto the bandwagon, and in turn churning out various versions, users are spoilt for choice when it comes to buying these touchscreen slates.
With a new tablet 'variant' coming to the market almost every few weeks, users have to decide which one(s) to spend their hard-earned money on. These days, you've business-class tablets and hybrid tablets as well as hybrid notebooks thrown in the mix to make that decision ever tougher.
To address this growing concern, on the 2nd July 2014, the HardwareZone team together with various tablet manufacturers, gathered some of their most recent tablets and phablets for our readers to have a hands-on session to better prepare them for making the right decision. We also gave attendees an overview of the trends, the different technologies behind current tablet devices, and how to choose a device for their intended usage.
Among the 25 recently launched products we've gathered, three of them have yet to be officially launched in this region and were specially made available for our members to get an early hands-on preview! Such are the perks of attending some of our PlayTest events. These devices were the ASUS Transformer Pad TF103C and TF303CL, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S series. As an added bonus, HardwareZone also managed to secure several prototype Samsung Galaxy Tab S devices for a quick trial as they are going to be launched shortly in Singapore. Besides getting a first-hand feel of all these new devices, what's special at our event is the plethora of relevant devices available that makes it much easier to compare and contrast between different tablets, ask the editorial team questions and get a better idea of the pros and cons of each model.
For those who were unable to attend our first major PlayTest event of the year, check out the video highlights of what took place, followed by more of what take place that evening:-
Before the main event began, an area full of tablets, phablets and convertible tablet/notebooks were on display and participants were free to walk around and try the various models. As they enjoy their dinner, they can also choose to play with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets (both the 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch variants) that the team has prepared at the presentation area.
To kick start the event, Editor of HardwareZone, Vijay Anand, gave the opening address and set the agenda for the evening. He also related the driving force behind the increasing sales of tablets, and reminded us of the once-popular netbook, which is a predecessor in terms of how people use tablets these days.
Associate Editor Chong Seng spoke about the trends of tablet development in the last few years, starting with the different processors and advantages of multi-core processing. He also touched on graphics processing power and display technologies - LCD vs. OLED, curved displays and ever-increasing display resolutions.
He also went on to talk about batteries, their physical differences, as well as software enhancements to let our batteries run a little bit longer and recharge faster.
The last segment of the presentation was by Senior Tech Writer Sidney Wong, where he showed the different tablet form factors we have in the market today. Notable ones include integrated kickstands on the Microsoft Surface series and multi-functional hybrids such as the upcoming ASUS Transformer Book V as a five-in-one device.
He also listed the advantages of the three main tablet operating systems -- iOS, Android and Windows -- and tips on how to choose the best tablet for different usage preference.
After the presentation, the attendees got more time to interact with the devices available and put them side by side for direct comparison. Some of the devices that gathered more interest include the Xiaomi Redmi Note (going on sale on July 8), the 2K resolution phablets like the LG G3 and Oppo Find 7, and the Windows hybrid tablets/notebooks, such as the Lenovo Miix 2 11.
To end off the evening, a series of challenging questions were asked in order to pick a winner for the grand prize: a Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5). It took a tie-breaker to determine the winner as the attendees answered enthusiastically.
That concludes our Tablet Revolution PlayTest event and if you're keen to participate in more of such events, do keep a close watch in our forums, and FB page for such event invites. For those who couldn’t make it this time, we hope to see you at our next PlayTest event. Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse of some of our other past PlayTest events.