PC World is gearing up to launch a second version of its Vega Android tablet. The Advent Vega 2 was one of the tablets on show at a Christmas in July event parent company Dixons Store Group (DSGi) held last week.
Retailer gearing up to fulfil pre-Christmas tablet demand
So far it's keeping extremely mum about the format the Vega 2 will take, limiting press information to a curt "awaiting further product information" in its Christmas catalogue and "not currently available or stocked online yet" in response to our request for details about it.
Nonetheless, we were given an official press shot of the Advent Vega 2. As you can see, the interface pays more than a passing resemblance to that of the BlackBerry Playbook. We also have some clue about the timeframe of when the Advent Vega 2 might debut.
Last week, DSGi issued a predictions list for the hottest tech this Christmas. Tablets featured highly, but there was also some interesting analysis of when the best time to buy – or launch – such a tablet might be.
In a press release, Mark Slater, category director at Dixons Retail commented that “A lot of people are now wise to the fact that there is a limited supply of the best technologies as manufacturers struggle to meet the global demand”.
He went on to say "We're working hard to ensure we get significant stock but we believe that the Christmas shoppers, particularly those seeking in-demand products like tablets, will be in our stores at least three months before the big day". So a September launch for an established brand in the tablet market seems likely.
"It's been an amazing year for tablets and it’s no longer a one-brand category. With new products arriving and the iPad 2 on the market, we know that thousands of people are going to want to get their hands on a tablet this Christmas", he said.
“At Dixons, we’re expecting demand for tablets to build from September, peaking well ahead of the traditional period in mid-December.
DSGi expects the Apple iPad 2 and Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 games console to be the most in-demand products this Christmas, but tablets also feature highly in its Top 10 Tech gift list. The Apple iPad 2 tops the predictions list, with the Amazon Kindle e-book reader coming second, the BlackBerry Playbook fifth and Sony’s yet-to-be-launched Playstation Tablet S1 and S2 a strong seventh. PC World’s own Advent Vega 2 is not included on the list, perhaps because it’s not yet ready to reveal its hand.
The original Advent Vega, launched in late October last year, proved popular with consumers thanks to its relatively affordable price tag. From the look of the sample photo, the Advent Vega 2 will be offered as a 10in tablet. However, we’ve every reason to assume a 7in version will also appear.
While the 10in version of the original Advent Vega failed to impress PC Advisor’s reviews editor with its £249 price tag, sluggish interface and unsubtle attempt to undercut the price of the Apple iPad, the 7in version sold well. We’ve also long talked of a ‘budget’ tablet running a proper version of the Google Android tablet OS, aka Honeycomb. If PC World can manage to keep the price to under £200 for a 7in tablet with Honeycomb, dual cameras and an SD card, we predict another tablet success for them.