Mobile World Congress

Tablets, laptops also in focus

A visitor at the Barcelona show trying out Samsung's Galaxy Book, a tablet-laptop hybrid, which runs on Windows 10.
A visitor at the Barcelona show trying out Samsung's Galaxy Book, a tablet-laptop hybrid, which runs on Windows 10.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

While mobile phones are usually the main highlight at the Mobile World Congress, their bigger siblings - tablets and laptops - were not entirely absent at this year's show, as firms like Samsung and Lenovo announced such devices in Barcelona last week.

Samsung opted not to reveal its long-awaited Galaxy S8 at the show, launching instead two non- smartphone products: a new Galaxy tablet and a new hybrid laptop.

Lenovo announced new tablets, laptops and a hybrid of the two, alongside two new phones under its Moto branding.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab S3 is the Korean electronics giant's latest iteration of its Android-based tablet, sporting a 9.7-inch Super Amoled screen which supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a glossy glass back for the first time.

The Tab S3 thus feels very polished and sturdy, if a bit heavy. Its screen is wonderful for multimedia consumption, as pictures and videos are presented with great detail.

And with four speakers - one on each corner - tuned by Austrian audio firm AKG, music and audio rumble smoothly along, and were sufficiently loud at maximum volume even in a crowded convention hall.

Samsung's other launch, the Galaxy Book, is a tablet-laptop hybrid aimed at competing with Microsoft's Surface Pro. It also runs the Windows 10 operating system and comes in two sizes - 10 and 12 inches - with a cover that doubles as a keyboard.

It's a cinch to set up and get to work, although the case felt a bit flimsy when in laptop mode as the cover's flex point was very bendy.

Chinese firm Lenovo's latest hybrid, the Miix 320, sports a 10.1-inch Full HD touchscreen display, which can be detached for use as a tablet. At US$199.90 (S$282), the Miix 320 is a low-cost alternative in the hybrid market - but you get what you pay for, as it doesn't look or feel as premium as its competitors.

Lenovo's refresh to their tablet line came in the form of four new tablets: the Tab 4 in both eight and 10-inches, with a Plus model for each with better specs.

They still feel like the mid-range tablets they are, with a plastic back and a bit of a heft to them. They start from €169 ($252) and will ship in May.

Lastly, Lenovo showed off its refresh to its Yoga laptops, with a 13-inch and 15-inch Yoga 720, featuring a 4K screen that's both sharp and colourful.

The smaller laptop goes for US$859.99 while the 15-inch goes for US$1,099.99.

Lenovo also announced a mid-range 14-inch Yoga 520 which will go for US$799.99 when it launches in May.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2017, with the headline 'Tablets, laptops also in focus'. Print Edition | Subscribe