The all-new, all-littler iPad Pro has not exactly overwhelmed even Apple fans. Its slower CPU and smaller RAM probably didn’t help. Now The Motley Fool, hardly the best-known tech rumor site, under the headline “Is Google About to Reinvent the Tablet?,” has shared hints of the new Google product which it claims could be “the most revolutionary new tablet in years” and the tablet game changer Apple may have been hoping for. Because the source The Motley Fool quotes, the GFXBench Database, lists details of a 13.8″ Google Project Ara device, which could be a high-spec modular tablet.
The device’s specs in themselves are pretty attractive – a 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core CPU, with a separate Qualcomm Adreno 430 GPU, Android 6, and 2.7 GB of RAM, as well as the 1920 x 1080 big screen. But it’s the designation itself that is more interesting. As The Motley Fool emphasizes, Project Ara is Google’s handle for its so-far still nascent modular smartphone initiative, which also hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. A Project Ara tablet, though, could offer far more unique differentiation than Apple has so far been able to achieve with the iPad range. And this follows a rather dramatic restyling of the Project Ara website, now sporting the enigmatic logo above.
What could that entail? For e-reading fans, one attractive possibility could be an eink add-on module to give users the option of an epaper back. Or productivity add-ons such as a keyboard or stylus to go with the multi-window capabilities of the latest iteration of the Android OS. Never mind that the massive screen on the Project Ara tablet sounds a pretty juicy ebook reader option in itself. “Android tablets have been cheap, but not very impressive,” points out The Motley Fool. “With a radical new device, and Android N, that could change.”
Other earlier sightings of the same data haven’t prompted such optimistic speculations. But The Motley Fool‘s timing is significant, coming just after the smaller iPad Pro’s debut. There is no guarantee that the Google Project Ara tablet will ever go into production. But if it does, it’ll be one more proof that innovation in the tablet game has moved on from Apple, and that things could start to get interesting again for e-reading fans.