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MWC 2018 Connected Computing Day One: High and Low Tier Tablet Refreshes

by Eric Smith | Feb 26, 2018

Before MWC kicks off, we saw two vendors come out with new tablets spanning the high and low tiers of the market.
Alcatel kicked things off on Saturday with their new T1 7-inch and 10-inch tablets meant for pure entertainment consumption at €69 and €99, respectively. In a very similar fashion to its smartphone portfolio reshuffle, Alcatel has named these “Series 1,” based on their specs and price. The 7-inch model has a 1024x600 screen resolution, while the 10-inch version has slightly better resolution at 1280x800 to compensate for the larger size. Availability begins in Q2 in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Both tablets are Wi-Fi only models, running Android 8.1 Oreo, and include Kids Mode with pre-loaded apps, content and parental control. The 10-inch version also has an optional Bluetooth keyboard.

Alcatel 1T 7 for €69
Alcatel 1T 7 WIFI front left angled 2

Huawei devoted most of their press conference to launching their update to the MediaPad entertainment line with the M5 models in 10.8-inch and 8.4-inch varieties to launch in developed markets in March 2018. This is Huawei’s premium Android slate at premium Android prices. The base price of the 8.4-inch model at Wi-Fi only with 32GB of storage is €349 and goes all the way up to €499 for LTE and 128GB of storage. The 10.8-inch version is only €50 more at any given connectivity/storage level. While these prices are rather high for Android tablets, Huawei maintains a low price premium for LTE connectivity at only €50 extra. There are a lot of high-end features on these devices, such as multiple speakers, 2560x1600 display, and fast charging.

There is also a Pro version of the 10.8-inch MediaPad M5 which has a pen and keyboard. Huawei also did some extra work on the software side to seamlessly switch to a “Desktop Mode” in Android 8.1 Oreo. We believe there is an opportunity for Android vendors to go after productivity use cases now that over 30% of Android tablets globally have multitasking available, just as Chrome has made inroads to the PC market.

Finally, Huawei launched a new version of its Matebook X thin-and-light laptop in a Pro version. The Matebook X Pro has an extremely thin bezel such that its screen-to-body ratio is 91% on a 3000x2000 resolution 13.9-inch display – higher than almost any PC on the market today. One way they manage to get to that point is by putting the selfie/web-cam in a pop-up key in the keyboard.

In addition to this unique feature, it has an NVIDIA GPU and 4 speakers with Dolby Atmos. The base model with an 8th generation Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage starts at €1499 and goes all the way up to €1899 for a Core i7 with 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. Huawei is aiming at top PC vendors with this model after just getting into market last summer by leaning on its mobile DNA for sleek, powerful designs and partnering with Microsoft and Intel for PC credibility.

We will have more on other devices launching here this week in our blogs and will dive in deeper on how these launches relate to the trends or could even change them.
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