The worldwide market for tablets has dramatically slowed and this means a few things for those manufacturers working on new devices. Any device released into the market needs to have at least one key selling feature in order for it to succeed. Smaller tablets have faced competition from the larger smartphones and so in 2016, there are relatively few tablets with a screen smaller than 8-inches across the diagonal. At this form factor, competition remains tight: the Apple iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 have the premium end of the market carved up between them, meaning that most other manufacturers are tackling the lower and mid-range areas of the market. We have devices such as the $200 NVIDIA SHIELD K1, offering a 1080p resolution (or FHD) display panel, quad core NVIDIA Tegra K1 chipset and some clever software tricks: any new entrant has a tough battle to face.
This leads us to a new, unannounced, tablet from Lenovo with an 8-inch, 1080p resolution panel, which has been leaked via the Chinese regulatory agency, TENAA. The tablet is available in at least two variants, with a model designation of TB-8703N or TB-8703F. Both are based around the 2.0 GHz, octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset. The models will come with either 2 GB or 3 GB of system RAM, 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage and will use the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system. There's a 4,250 mAh battery inside the 8.7mm thick battery and the tablet has a reported mass of 334g – which are very much typical figures for the 8-inch tablet market these days. The rear camera has a LED flash on the back and there's a front mounted camera, too; the addition of a rear flash makes the new Lenovo tablet a little bit more interesting from a hardware perspective, but otherwise the device is shaping up to be a standard tablet. Industry rumors point towards the TB-8703N model as coming with LTE networking.
Where Lenovo can add value is in the software that the new tablet runs. This will depend on the overlay that Lenovo add to the device and any special features included. Alternatively, Lenovo may bring a reasonably standard tablet to market but with an exceptionally low, and tempting, price. Unfortunately, at this time we do not know the markets, additional features or cost of the new model but as soon as we do, we will let you know. The tablet may be joining the Lenovo S-line of tablets or could be replacing the Lenovo Tab3 8 range.