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Nokia Getting "Sirius" About Windows RT Tablet

By - Source: GigaOM | B 21 comments

Sirius may be the name of Nokia's upcoming windows RT tablet.

Talk of a "Lumia" style tablet has been around since at least March 2012, but the rumor received a good dose of reality last week with reports of a possible reveal in September and hardware specs including a Snapdragon 800, 32 GB of internal storage, a 10.1 inch screen and more. Of course, the original rumors slated the tablet to arrive in February 2013, so anything is possible at this point.

In March 2012, Nokia's head of design, Marko Ahtisaari, said that the company was indeed working on a tablet, that Nokia was definitely eyeing the tablet space. The device was supposedly delayed due to Microsoft's own Surface tablets, and would sport a 10 inch screen and Qualcomm's S4 chip when it would finally be revealed during Mobile World Congress in February 2013.

After the initial report, additional hardware details began to roll in, including HDMI and USB support. The company was also reportedly focusing on the actual Lumia-like form factor and the tablet's cover, which would click into place and serve as a keyboard and a kickstand. This cover would also feature an additional battery and extra USB ports.

In February before MWC 2013, Nokia chief Stephen Elop threw a curve ball into the rumor mill by saying that the company was open to any platform for a tablet OS. "We are studying very closely the market right now as Microsoft has introduced the Surface tablet, so we are trying to learn from that and understand what the right way to participate would be and at what point in time," he said. Shortly after that, Nokia "mistakingly" revealed a Lumia-styled tablet sporting a Windows 8 interface.

MWC 2013 came and went with no Nokia tablet in sight. The next supposed reveal would be Nokia's May 14 Lumia event earlier this year. By then the rumored specs consisted of a 10.1-inch screen at 1366 x 768 resolution, a 1 GHz SoC and 1 GB of RAM. The device would measure 256.6 x 175 x 9.7 mm and weigh around 676 grams. Obviously, the rumored Windows RT tablet didn't make a showing at that event either.

The device reportedly appeared on a GFXBench benchmark as the RX-114 back in July, sporting the Snapdragon 800 chip but with a 1371 x 771 resolution, suggesting a similar resolution found on Microsoft's 10.6 inch Surface screen. Yet the RX-114 could merely be an upcoming large-screen phablet that will be revealed alongside the Nokia tablet.

So now we come to the latest addition in the Nokia tablet saga. So far the specs are rumored to include a 10.1 inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 2 GB of RAM at the least (it could be 3 GB as previously speculated), the quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip (2.2 GHz or 2.3 GHz), 32 GB of storage, a micro SD card slot, a micro USB port, a micro HDMI output, a 6 MP camera on the back and a 2 MP camera on the front, and optional LTE connectivity. A photo showing the back panel of Nokia's tablet emerged just last week.

At the moment, Windows RT still seems to be the OS of choice, and now we possibly may have an actual name: Sirius. Nokia will supposedly reveal the new Lumia-styled Windows RT tablet during an event in New York on September 26 and 27. The company typically reserves the NYC location for major launches such as the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 1020. Smaller, non-U.S. launches usually take place in London.

Pricing for the new tablet is expected to match Apple's iPad.

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  • 5 Hide
    darkavenger123 , August 26, 2013 6:31 PM
    Err...only now they launch an RT tablet when RT is already dead??? Good Luck.
  • 7 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , August 26, 2013 7:03 PM
    I swear its like Nokia's wish is to go down under. NEWS FLASH NOKIA... WINDOWS RT SUCKS! I'd rather they would have put that Quad-core on their new Lumia 1020 which desperately needed more processing power due to that insane high resolution camera, every review I've read it says it takes up to 6 seconds to capture an image, that is simply unacceptable. Some companies lack real common sense these days.

  • 1 Hide
    Mark Dickinson , August 26, 2013 8:08 PM
    Perhaps. Or Perhaps you lack the vision they do. and the foresight. That's not to say that the market isn't greatly agreeing with you since the start to now.
  • Display all 21 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    portentous , August 26, 2013 8:13 PM
    A good camera from Nokia would be a good feature to have as the Surface RT's camera is not very good. (Then again neither has any tablet)
    I have the RT since launch and haven't used the iPad and Nexus since. I don't know if anyone out there have the same experience (I believe those posted negative comments have actually owned/used RT?) As I commented before, yes, you almost need PhD to use the bloody thing and MS needs to make it more user-friendly (then again, where is the fun?)
  • 1 Hide
    stevejnb , August 26, 2013 8:26 PM
    You know, the whole RT is dead thing strikes me as knee-jerk "I hate Windows" reaction. Remember back oh, two years ago? Back when Android was the runner up in the mobile OS world, with a tiny fraction of the apps, and some advantages but also a lot of disadvantages, compared to iOS? Well, back then, I don't recall this "Oh, Android is dead" and "Android sucks" blah blah blah. A lot of people saw the potential in the OS and put up with a lesser lineup of apps at the time. Go figure, not even a year down the road, it had fleshed out a lot, and was a viable competitor. Now? RT... It's, what, about a year old? The number of apps has gone up *dramatically* and, I don't know if many of you have actually checked the app store in the past month or so, but the number of apps has grown substantially. The thing is, the argument a year ago was "it has no apps" and the argument is still the same - just not nearly as true as it was then. This "dead" OS is growing, it has some very solid hardware attached to it that is starting to get affordable. Are many of you who think it's dead/garbage stuck about 12 months in the past?

    Back when Android was the clear #2 and , it was popular for a few reasons. Despite the vastly inferior app selection, I believe the top two of those reasons were 1) it was much less controlled than iOS, and 2) it was not the big evil Apple that everyone loved to hate. If we look at RT right out the gate, it had the virtue of having vastly superior multitasking compared to the competition and came with full MS Office - not small things, both of which are still true. So why, when Android was given this free pass, does everyone have it out for RT so much?

    I'm honestly curious - what's the difference here? Why was Android not so bad two years ago, but RT is the devil now? And how many of you who keep on harping on the "it has no apps" thing have actually checked the Windows store since the release of RT? And don't get me wrong - RT tablets WERE overpriced, they DID have a sad app selection. I'm not sure either one is true any more.
  • 0 Hide
    portentous , August 26, 2013 8:49 PM
    Quote:
    You know, the whole RT is dead thing strikes me as knee-jerk "I hate Windows" reaction. Remember back oh, two years ago? Back when Android was the runner up in the mobile OS world, with a tiny fraction of the apps, and some advantages but also a lot of disadvantages, compared to iOS? Well, back then, I don't recall this "Oh, Android is dead" and "Android sucks" blah blah blah. A lot of people saw the potential in the OS and put up with a lesser lineup of apps at the time. Go figure, not even a year down the road, it had fleshed out a lot, and was a viable competitor. Now? RT... It's, what, about a year old? The number of apps has gone up *dramatically* and, I don't know if many of you have actually checked the app store in the past month or so, but the number of apps has grown substantially. The thing is, the argument a year ago was "it has no apps" and the argument is still the same - just not nearly as true as it was then. This "dead" OS is growing, it has some very solid hardware attached to it that is starting to get affordable. Are many of you who think it's dead/garbage stuck about 12 months in the past?

    Back when Android was the clear #2 and , it was popular for a few reasons. Despite the vastly inferior app selection, I believe the top two of those reasons were 1) it was much less controlled than iOS, and 2) it was not the big evil Apple that everyone loved to hate. If we look at RT right out the gate, it had the virtue of having vastly superior multitasking compared to the competition and came with full MS Office - not small things, both of which are still true. So why, when Android was given this free pass, does everyone have it out for RT so much?

    I'm honestly curious - what's the difference here? Why was Android not so bad two years ago, but RT is the devil now? And how many of you who keep on harping on the "it has no apps" thing have actually checked the Windows store since the release of RT? And don't get me wrong - RT tablets WERE overpriced, they DID have a sad app selection. I'm not sure either one is true any more.


    Great post. Finally someone with much better insight.
    If more manufacturers bring out RT tablets (much like the Android), the price will definitely come down, people will have more choice. Everyone (I) will be happy.
  • 0 Hide
    Kamen_BG , August 27, 2013 12:04 AM
    Quote:
    You know, the whole RT is dead thing strikes me as knee-jerk "I hate Windows" reaction. Remember back oh, two years ago? Back when Android was the runner up in the mobile OS world, with a tiny fraction of the apps, and some advantages but also a lot of disadvantages, compared to iOS? Well, back then, I don't recall this "Oh, Android is dead" and "Android sucks" blah blah blah. A lot of people saw the potential in the OS and put up with a lesser lineup of apps at the time. Go figure, not even a year down the road, it had fleshed out a lot, and was a viable competitor. Now? RT... It's, what, about a year old? The number of apps has gone up *dramatically* and, I don't know if many of you have actually checked the app store in the past month or so, but the number of apps has grown substantially. The thing is, the argument a year ago was "it has no apps" and the argument is still the same - just not nearly as true as it was then. This "dead" OS is growing, it has some very solid hardware attached to it that is starting to get affordable. Are many of you who think it's dead/garbage stuck about 12 months in the past?

    Back when Android was the clear #2 and , it was popular for a few reasons. Despite the vastly inferior app selection, I believe the top two of those reasons were 1) it was much less controlled than iOS, and 2) it was not the big evil Apple that everyone loved to hate. If we look at RT right out the gate, it had the virtue of having vastly superior multitasking compared to the competition and came with full MS Office - not small things, both of which are still true. So why, when Android was given this free pass, does everyone have it out for RT so much?

    I'm honestly curious - what's the difference here? Why was Android not so bad two years ago, but RT is the devil now? And how many of you who keep on harping on the "it has no apps" thing have actually checked the Windows store since the release of RT? And don't get me wrong - RT tablets WERE overpriced, they DID have a sad app selection. I'm not sure either one is true any more.


    Android was different. It's an open operating system. It came out at a time when Symbian was struggling and iOS was king, but also very hated.
    The world needed a new OS.
    Right now, if you're in need of a tablet for entertainment purposes, go with Android.
    If you want proper multitasking and productivity, go with Windows.
    Windows RT just doesn't fit.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , August 27, 2013 12:24 AM
    RT can work, imo, at the right price.

    You get Office, you can connect to an external display, have a file system, and a full USB port...potentially useful in a lot of situations.

    A well made tablet at Nexus 7 prices could be good.
  • -1 Hide
    damianrobertjones , August 27, 2013 12:37 AM
    " yes, you almost need PhD to use the bloody thing " - I'm stunned. if a 56 year old couple can use an Ativ S and Surface RT then you might need Windows 8 RT for dummies
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , August 27, 2013 2:09 AM
    Windows RT is a great os / platform with 1000x more potential then the others

    the fact that you can actually manage files and use it for actual office work makes it a clear winner over the other closed platforms

    Try copying a simple file to a Apple iOS based device, or Android device and actually finding WHERE the file went let alone how to open it

    give it time it will own the rest, and ill refer back to this article when it (or its sucessors) dominate the market and laugh at the haters
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , August 27, 2013 5:55 AM
    Windows RT's only real issues were with Microsoft's horrible mis-handling of RT and Pro tablets and Windows 8 marketing. Surface RT is a fine platform for tablets; the only real issue is the same as what Android tablets ran up against with back when the iPad was the only real tablet; app and program infrastructure vs. where you had invested in. But for the general user, apps for Surface RT address pretty much most usage habits, and delivers about the same user experience as any other platform. The Snapdragon 800 will be a much-noticed (and needed) improvement over the Tegra3 used in most Surface RT's.

    I hope Nokia can do with the Surface RT what Microsoft failed miserably with.
  • 0 Hide
    machvelocy , August 27, 2013 5:58 AM
    Quote:
    32 GB of internal storage

    deal breaker for me... seems nokia didn't realize how much space the RT use just for the OS.
    and my 2 cent, if someone would like to resurrect RT, nokia might be able to. nokia have plenty of loyal user just like apple, although an order of magnitude smaller. heck even their low end s40 devices which is stale in comparison in usability against other low end android, is in fact very popular among entry level market. most people who bought it almost always says "because its nokia".
  • 0 Hide
    shotgunz , August 27, 2013 7:39 AM
    Quote:

    Try copying a simple file to a Apple iOS based device, or Android device and actually finding WHERE the file went let alone how to open it


    How ever will I play music files on my galaxy nexus?!
    (my computer --> phone --> internal storage --> music folder, use music player app on phone that scans music folder --> play song!)
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , August 27, 2013 8:33 AM
    "the original rumors slated the tablet"

    I see what you did there. ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , August 27, 2013 9:29 AM
    Quote:


    Android was different. It's an open operating system. It came out at a time when Symbian was struggling and iOS was king, but also very hated.
    The world needed a new OS.
    Right now, if you're in need of a tablet for entertainment purposes, go with Android.
    If you want proper multitasking and productivity, go with Windows.
    Windows RT just doesn't fit.


    The "Android was different" thing is both true and a cop out. They're all different. Simply put, the base package of the RT is *far* better than either iOS or Android for many peoples' working habits whether they know it or not - full office, the ability to keep multiple documents open at the same time. After two years of using an Android tablet for class work, the Surface I picked up recently is *leaps and bounds* better for work than my Le Pan II ever was. It's not just the hardware that makes it better though, the OS is a big part of it. Simply put, if you perform functions that require Office - which let's face it, millions upon millions of people do - RT is a better option for you than Android or iOS.

    So, question for you... What if you want a tablet for entertainment purposes and you want the productivity of proper Office and multitasking? For a student who wants to take notes in class, work on papers between class, and fire up Netflix sometimes, maybe plug a tablet into a TV, wants to read a book for class on it, etc, isn't this device a pretty darned good choice? And yes, I realize you can get a laptop for $350, but that laptop is going to be a lot bigger and heavier than a Surface/other RT tablet, and you're on your own for getting Office, and you won't get the advantage of a tablet form factor. Trust me, being able to read .epub and .pdf files in a comfortable manner is a big deal for students, and can actually save you hundreds of dollars in book costs - and laptops are not particularly good for that. Tablets are. Proper Office is a big deal for students too - speaking as an ex-student who was fed up with years of using OfficeSuite Pro, Docs2Go, and other half-arsed office knockoff apps. Where do you go if you want these types of functionality? Android and iOS are second rate picks for this whole package. RT tablets - well, quite a bit better.

    I'm not suggesting that RT is going to take the world by storm. What I'm suggesting is that RT tablets that aren't pricing themselves out of the market (Surface, I'm looking at you - $500 was a joke) might be the best tablet choice for a lot of people, whether they know it or not. The app store is actually respectable now, even if it's a clear third place for app content - but was it that long ago that Android was the clear second, and we still treated It as a worthwhile platform based on other factors. With that Windows app store growing and pricing being much more reasonable, is it really accurate to refer to RT as a dead platform these days?
  • 0 Hide
    wshwe , August 27, 2013 12:35 PM
    Microsoft never supported RT and Win 8 to the maximum degree. Office 2013 should have been able to completely run in Metro. Access should have been ported to ARM and Win 8 Metro. Access is still the PC application of choice for quick and dirty databases. If MS couldn't port Access they should have rewritten it. They should have decided to do whatever it takes to get Access running on RT and Win 8 Metro. The company I work for uses Access for straightforward, but important functions.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , August 27, 2013 2:09 PM
    Quote:

    The "Android was different" thing is both true and a cop out. They're all different. Simply put, the base package of the RT is *far* better than either iOS or Android for many peoples' working habits whether they know it or not - full office, the ability to keep multiple documents open at the same time. After two years of using an Android tablet for class work, the Surface I picked up recently is *leaps and bounds* better for work than my Le Pan II ever was. It's not just the hardware that makes it better though, the OS is a big part of it. Simply put, if you perform functions that require Office - which let's face it, millions upon millions of people do - RT is a better option for you than Android or iOS.

    So, question for you... What if you want a tablet for entertainment purposes and you want the productivity of proper Office and multitasking? For a student who wants to take notes in class, work on papers between class, and fire up Netflix sometimes, maybe plug a tablet into a TV, wants to read a book for class on it, etc, isn't this device a pretty darned good choice? And yes, I realize you can get a laptop for $350, but that laptop is going to be a lot bigger and heavier than a Surface/other RT tablet, and you're on your own for getting Office, and you won't get the advantage of a tablet form factor. Trust me, being able to read .epub and .pdf files in a comfortable manner is a big deal for students, and can actually save you hundreds of dollars in book costs - and laptops are not particularly good for that. Tablets are. Proper Office is a big deal for students too - speaking as an ex-student who was fed up with years of using OfficeSuite Pro, Docs2Go, and other half-arsed office knockoff apps. Where do you go if you want these types of functionality? Android and iOS are second rate picks for this whole package. RT tablets - well, quite a bit better.

    I'm not suggesting that RT is going to take the world by storm. What I'm suggesting is that RT tablets that aren't pricing themselves out of the market (Surface, I'm looking at you - $500 was a joke) might be the best tablet choice for a lot of people, whether they know it or not. The app store is actually respectable now, even if it's a clear third place for app content - but was it that long ago that Android was the clear second, and we still treated It as a worthwhile platform based on other factors. With that Windows app store growing and pricing being much more reasonable, is it really accurate to refer to RT as a dead platform these days?


    I agree with your sentiments. Except for the fact that office on Surface RT (ARM) is very, very laggy, and not the full version of MS Office. You pretty much get the same things that google doc's offers. Note--I'm not saying that Android is a better productivity device. But if you require true productivity, RT is as incompetent as Android is vs. a surface pro tablet.

    If google doc's was available (on nexus devices) for offline creation and editing, it would be just as good as RT's office. The problem is currently (and for the foreseeable future), Google Drive will be an online-only service (which isn't much of a surprise).

    I share your experience with OfficeSuite Pro--on every android device I used it on, it was horribly glitchy and crashed all the time to the point where it was impractical to use. RT's advantage (assuming the lag when creating and editing office documents doesn't impede the user) is in its mainly unified hardware platform. People constantly criticized MS for "blocking" all these OEMs from making Windows RT tablets. I think the main reason is that they tried to learn from Android's "diverse" hardware platform and the issues it creates, and wanted a better user experience. It just so happened to blow up in their faces because of poor marketing (and a little bit too expensive pricing schemes).

    I hope "rev 2" of RT fares better because more options to the consumer are always better.
  • 0 Hide
    Kamen_BG , August 29, 2013 1:28 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:


    Android was different. It's an open operating system. It came out at a time when Symbian was struggling and iOS was king, but also very hated.
    The world needed a new OS.
    Right now, if you're in need of a tablet for entertainment purposes, go with Android.
    If you want proper multitasking and productivity, go with Windows.
    Windows RT just doesn't fit.


    The "Android was different" thing is both true and a cop out. They're all different. Simply put, the base package of the RT is *far* better than either iOS or Android for many peoples' working habits whether they know it or not - full office, the ability to keep multiple documents open at the same time. After two years of using an Android tablet for class work, the Surface I picked up recently is *leaps and bounds* better for work than my Le Pan II ever was. It's not just the hardware that makes it better though, the OS is a big part of it. Simply put, if you perform functions that require Office - which let's face it, millions upon millions of people do - RT is a better option for you than Android or iOS.

    So, question for you... What if you want a tablet for entertainment purposes and you want the productivity of proper Office and multitasking? For a student who wants to take notes in class, work on papers between class, and fire up Netflix sometimes, maybe plug a tablet into a TV, wants to read a book for class on it, etc, isn't this device a pretty darned good choice? And yes, I realize you can get a laptop for $350, but that laptop is going to be a lot bigger and heavier than a Surface/other RT tablet, and you're on your own for getting Office, and you won't get the advantage of a tablet form factor. Trust me, being able to read .epub and .pdf files in a comfortable manner is a big deal for students, and can actually save you hundreds of dollars in book costs - and laptops are not particularly good for that. Tablets are. Proper Office is a big deal for students too - speaking as an ex-student who was fed up with years of using OfficeSuite Pro, Docs2Go, and other half-arsed office knockoff apps. Where do you go if you want these types of functionality? Android and iOS are second rate picks for this whole package. RT tablets - well, quite a bit better.

    I'm not suggesting that RT is going to take the world by storm. What I'm suggesting is that RT tablets that aren't pricing themselves out of the market (Surface, I'm looking at you - $500 was a joke) might be the best tablet choice for a lot of people, whether they know it or not. The app store is actually respectable now, even if it's a clear third place for app content - but was it that long ago that Android was the clear second, and we still treated It as a worthwhile platform based on other factors. With that Windows app store growing and pricing being much more reasonable, is it really accurate to refer to RT as a dead platform these days?


    A Windows 8 Tablet will always be better for productivity than a Windows RT one.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314091
    And it's not more expensive too.
    There are also more apps available.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , August 29, 2013 6:45 AM
    Kamen, keep in mind, I have an Acer Iconia W700 tablet and love the damned thing - I know what Windows 8 tablets are capable of and I actually recommend it above the Surface Pro for anyone capable of uninstalling and reinstalling the network adapter driver. I recently bought a Surface RT and the Iconia W3 was one of the ones I was looking at as an alternative "junker" machine for on the go.

    First off, on basic premise, I agree - Windows 8 is notably superior to Windows RT for productivity. That being said, if Office is your main engine for productivity, less so - I'm still trying to figure out where the lag is in the RT's office that Chem is talking about, outside of a 5'ish second delay on initial startup. Second... The W3 is junk. In just about every single way, barring operating system, the Surface RT is a better machine. Reading through Amazon reviews of the W3 it was loaded with one star reviews complaining about one element of the experience or another. I'm all for Windows 8 tablets coming in at a decent price point - but the W3 just seems like an attempt to get Windows 8 onto a tablet at the expense of everything else. The Surface RT, despite costing $50 more and only having RT, was my preference. After a while I asked myself, "What's the point of full Windows 8 on a machine not powerful enough to do anything but run metro apps when I'm sacrificing a *lot* of intangibles and build quality for that full OS?"

    I'm looking forward to the Windows 8 tablet price point coming down to sub $400 and actually being good, and sub $300 and actually being decent. What I'm expecting though is, once 8 is priced that low and performing decently, we'll start to see sub $200 RT tablets performing well and it'll still be a good option for certain peoples' needs.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , August 29, 2013 7:11 AM
    Quote:
    A Windows 8 Tablet will always be better for productivity than a Windows RT one.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314091
    And it's not more expensive too.
    There are also more apps available.


    To be fair, that's a thick, fugly option and didn't do very well for Acer (they quickly started working on a replacement model). Was riddled with bluetooth issues and slow disk performance.
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