Samsung and Apple race to 12.2 Inch Tablets;
Smaller 7-inch devices appear to be ruling the tablet space with the highly successful Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire leading other companies, including Apple, to adopt the smaller more portable form factor over the larger 10.1-inch form factor. Despite the market for smaller, cheaper tablets, recently a rumor has emerged that Apple is planning a larger version of the iPad called the iPad Maxi; which is more than likely not the final name.
Not wanting to be beaten to the punch by their biggest competitor in both the tablet and smartphone business, Samsung is rumored to be making a bigger tablet of their own which will measure 12.2-inches and feature a fully fledged WQXGA 2560 x 1600 resolution IGZO LCD display, which is a significant improvement over the disappointing displays that will be featured on the Galaxy Tab 3 series.
The display on this device will be manufactured by both Samsung Display and Sharp, utilizing Sharp’s IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technology over traditional amorphous silicon that is the most common material used in the active part of a LCD panel, the result is greater power saving and faster response times. Considering that size and resolution of this display, the extra power savings could be critical to this product’s success. The tablet will also feature the S-Pen, similar to the Galaxy Note series, which means the new tablet will be able to access the full suite of Samsung software features allowing for greater flexibility over just hand inputs. The 12.2-inch form factor does appear to be an attempt for Samsung to encroach into the notebook/netbook market, which has been slowly losing market share to tablets, thanks to their popularity and flexibility.
The main problem I see with this product is firstly its size. Measuring at 12.2-inches you could hardly consider it portable, and one of the major reasons for the success of 7-inch tablets is the ability for the user to hold the device easily in one hand. The pricing of the device is also a concern, especially when you factor in the costs of producing a larger device with a display that is not only of a 2560 x 1600 resolution, but one that will probably be pressure sensitive due to the addition of the S-Pen; however the pricing of the device should still be lower than comparable ultrabook/convertibles that are currently hitting the market as part of Microsoft’s campaign to promote Windows 8. If the device is meant to compete in this market one would assume that Samsung would be introducing an official keyboard dock, similar to the ASUS Transformer Series, because no matter how good a touchscreen is, nothing beats having an actual keyboard when it comes to typing. While there’s no substantial evidence to back this rumor up, there has been an order of 2 to 2.5 million 12.2-inch displays placed by Samsung. These could well be for a new ultrabook but, that’s certainly an odd screen size for such a thing, leading us to believe that Samsung might be ready to push their tablets past the 10.1-inch barrier.[Source: Android Beat]