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Mar 20, 2017 01:24 PM EDT

Asus’ Mysterious, Affordable 9.6-Inch Tablet Takes On iPad Air 2 With PowerVR Graphics, Latest MediaTek Processor

Apple Unveils New Versions Of Popular iPad
Asus is cooking up another tablet that's designed to take on Apple's iPad Air 2. The Android tablet was recently seen in the GFXBench database.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Asus is cooking up another tablet that's designed to take on Apple's iPad Air 2. The Android tablet was recently seen in the GFXBench database and some of its features and hardware were also leaked.

Asus' upcoming tablet measures at 9.6 inches, making it slightly bigger than the 9.4-inch iPad Air 2, Phone Arena reported. The device, which will run using Android 7.0 Nougat, will be powered by the 12-core chip MediaTek MT8173 SoC. The latter also powers the Acer Chromebook R13.

The Asus tablet will have the PowerVR GX6250 graphics unit to support the screen's 2048 x 1536 resolution. Other expected features are 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal storage, a 7-megapixel primary camera and a 4.7-megapixel front-facing snapper for taking selfies.

At this point, an estimated price for the tablet is yet to be had, though it is expected to have a mid-range cost. It remains to be seen whether or not it will be more expensive or cheaper than the $399 iPad Air 2, though it is expected to be priced between $300 and $400.

MediaTek claimed that the MT8173 chip is six times stronger and more efficient than the MT8125, its predecessor. The Taiwanese manufacturer's newer SoC provides up to 2.4 GHz performance, 120 Hz display and camera modules that support 20-megapixel photographs, NDTV listed.

Asus recently unveiled the 9.7-inch ZenPad 3S 10, which retails at $405. The device has the same screen resolution as the planned tablet, though it has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor under its hood.

Its storage varies between 32 GB and 48 GB, while its RAM is at 4 GB. Other specs include an 8 MP primary camera, 5 MP front-facing snapper, QuickCharge 3.0 and the IMG GX6250 650MHz as its graphics unit. The ZenPad 3S 10 is also a worthy competitor for the iPad Air 2.

Apple's iPad Air 2 is 6.1 mm thick. Like Asus' tablets, its screen resolution is at 2048 x 1536 and powering the device is the A8X chip with M8 motion coprocessor. Additional features include an 8 MP iSight camera, a 1.2 MP FaceTime camera, and 32 or 128 GB internal storage options.

The iPad Air 2 is also in competition with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S and Google Pixel C. Asus would have to go toe-to-toe with those tablets too when it finally enters that particular market.

What do you think of Asus' mystery tablet? Do you think it is a worthy opponent for the iPad Air 2, Galaxy Tab S and Google Pixel C? Sound off in the comments section below.

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