Hello and welcome to the Geeky Brummie Tech Round-Up!
Each week I’ll be deep diving into the world of technology. Bringing back some new pearls from Birmingham and beyond! If you want to send any local tech articles over, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new wave of Android tablets
Remember those heady days of the early 2010s? When there was seemingly a new Android Tablet every week to compete with Apple’s offerings? You’d pull up your Nexus 7 or Nvidia Shield tablet and watch Netflix like you were on Star Trek and it felt like you’d finally made it to the future.
Apple have continued with their line ups of iPads but the android tablet has been abandoned by Google who’s last tablet was the Pixel Slate, developed back in 2018 and removed from the google store this year.
Samsung and Amazon to carry the torch with their Tab and Kindle Fire series’ respectively. Towards the lower end of the market Lenovo and obscure Chinese manufacturers have almost hoovered up the rest of the competition in the android market.
However, are things set for a change? A global pandemic means our media consumption has gone through the roof and people are getting tired of watching their streaming service of choice on their phablet.
To fill the gap we’re getting a flurry of new high-end tablets due over the next few months, aimed squarely at Apple’s and Samsung’s tablet dominance:
Realme, the India based, Chinese developer of budget phones in the emerging markets, held an event today revealing their iPad Air competitor.
It’ll run on Android 11 with a brand new new Realme UI for Pad skin on top. It’s got a reasonable spec list with a 10.4-inch WUXGA+ (2,000×1,200 pixels) with a Night Mode to cut down eye fatigue under dark all the way down to 2 nits.
It also has a Sunlight Mode to switch to the screen’s maximum brightness for outdoor usage. Powering the tablet is a MediaTek Helio G80 SoC, along with up to 4GB RAM and up to 64GB of storage. All this for Rs. 17,999 (approx. £180).
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro
After what is seemingly forever in the low-mid range market Lenovo have revealed their Tab P12 Pro with a surprising amount of grunt compared to it predecessor, the P11 Pro with a much faster Qualcomm Snapdragon at heart (870 vs 730), a bump in RAM (6/8GB vs 4/6GB), and a move to a larger AMOLED screen (12.6in vs 11.5in). The 2,560 x 1,600 pixel screen itself has solid specs with a support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+102Hz refresh and 600 nits peak brightness.
It looks a compelling option with Lenovo Precision Pen 3 support, an integrated fingerprint scanner and an optional keyboard accessory. Combined with a 10,200mAh battery and this might be a good on the go daily driver for those looking for more flexibility than a Chromebook.
One more trick up its sleeve is that it’s the first device with support for Project Unity. This can turn the tablet into a smart companion display for your Windows 10 or 11 Lenovo PC / Laptop. Pairing through a simple pin input, which lets you extend your desktop to the tablet for additional display when required or use Windows and Android apps side by side.
There’ll be two versions, WiFi only and 5G for those who need to be connected like Shakira (Groan! ed.), with prices starting from $610 / £450 depending on regionality.
Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro
Another bi hitter spec wise on this list is the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 Pro. Xiaomi are again another Chinese brand who have moved into wide swathes of the tech market with smartphones, e-scooters, shavers, home security devices, robot vacuums and more.
Their Mi Pad 5 has been available in China since August but they’re finally releasing global pricing on September 15th. However the price has apparently been pre-leaked by a Belarusian retailer nsv.by who did and unboxing which was swiftly pulled, and French retailer FNac the base model looks to start at 399€
Both the Mi Pad 5 and the 5 Pro come with 11″ 2.5k 120Hz LCD screens with 500nits peak brightness and Dolby Vision and HDR10 support.
Under the hood the Mi Pad 5 runs a Snapdragon 860, whereas the pro model gets an 870 and optional 5G support. Both have 6GB of RAM, LPDDR4 on the standard and LPDDR5 on the Pro with an extra 2GB for the pro 5G model) and 128GB or 256GB of storage.
Both the standard and pro models look to be compelling options if the leaked prices are to be believed, lets hope they translate into GBP sterling at the same level too.
Who knows, Google might finally think the tablet market might be worth dipping their toe back into depending on the successes of this latest generation.
New eye in the sky – James Webb Telescope finally get a launch date
Originally due to be in the air back in August 2020, the James Webb Telescope will finally get into space on 18rtht December 2021 on board an Ariane 5.
Taking a quarter of a century from concept to launch, the telescope has been a labour of love for NASA to get it into the air with multiple changes and requests for funding throughout the decades.
The Webb telescope was formerly known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST); it was renamed in September 2002 after a former NASA administrator, James Webb.
It’ll take over from Hubble as the most powerful infrared telescope in NASAs arsenal with the ability to look much closer at the beginning of time with its ability to observe longer wavelengths as well as look inside dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today.
Lets hope for no more delays!
Re-Re-Enter The Matrix
Before you start, no it’s not John Wick, its definitely Neo. If you’ve not had chance to check out the trailer website yet, we suggest you do and right now:
Using the power of HTML5 and asking the question from the original film, red (narrated by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) or blue (narrated by Neil Patrick Harris) takes you to a trailer experience like no other.
We won’t spoil it it for you, but it’s a very clever use of the power of the internet and don’t forget to refresh it for even more…
The full trailer is due later today, but until then enjoy once again diving back in.
UPDATE: Trailer is now live:
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