Tablets have had a tough time of it in 2014.
With the increasing prevalence of so–called phablets and the unwillingness of consumers to upgrade as regularly as they do with smartphones, sales across the board have slowed somewhat.
But that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of new slates being lined up that could have got us excited. 2015 promises some exciting new developments. Here’s our pick of the ones to watch out for.
1 Apple iPad Pro/iPad Air Plus
Apple’s iPad has had a strange year.
Sales have taken a hit and though CEO Tim Cook has called this ‘a speed bump’, the reality is that fewer people are buying its tablets.
The iPad Pro, or iPad Air Plus depending on which rumours you believe, is aimed at reversing that trend.
The super–size slate is said to pack a huge 12.2–inch screen, with a dual speaker set up and next generation A9 processor.
It seems Apple’s bid to bolster sales is all up diversifying its line-up, with this larger tablet aimed at business users. It’s apparently due out in spring.
2 Apple iPad mini 4
Some have suggested the iPad mini is for the chop, presumably because its sales are said to be the direct reason for the range’s wider decline.
But recent rumours have suggested Apple is plotting a whole new look for the iPad mini, with plans to release it at the same time as the iPad Pro.
The slate, which has had the same design since 2012, will reportedly be more in line with the super slim iPad Air 2, and come with the A8X processor currently found in that particular model.
3 Nokia N1
The N1 represents a first move back into hardware for Nokia following the sale of its devices business to Microsoft.
Looking more than a little like an iPad, this neat tablet comes with Google Android on board.
It also packs the company’s impressive Z Launcher, a clever custom skin that learns which apps you use the most at any given time of day, leaving them in a handy list on your home screen.
The 7.9–inch screen, 2GB of RAM and quad core Intel Atom processor put it up there with the higher end competition.
4 Samsung foldable tablet
A staple of tech gossip websites for months, Samsung’s bendy slate is rumoured for release at the start of 2015.
The 9–inch Super AMOLED screen will be able to bend, with some reports suggesting it can be turned into a smaller phone form factor, ideal for packing away.
It could also double-up as an e–reader, allowing readers to hold it like a proper book.
Word is it was shown off under strict secrecy at 2014’s CES and MWC events, with those two industry gatherings a good bet for an official launch early in the New Year.
CES starts in the second week of January.
5 HTC high–end tablet
HTC made this year’s Nexus 9 tablet for Google.
And next year it’s going to move back into the tablet market under its own name, according to its North Asia president, Jack Tong.
Tong told an industry gathering in November that there was no money to be made from budget tablets, so instead HTC would be releasing a number of devices in the higher–end category in 2015.
Expect these to feature the company’s impressive designs, as seen on the One (M8) and perhaps even its Ultra Pixel imaging tech.