Move over Lenovo: Ocado launches world’s largest 42″ tablet

Back in January last year, a lot of readers were absolutely astonished when Lenovo announced their 27” tablet, retailing at £1,000.

I remember the almost 50:50 split between those horrified by the size and those who thought it was an excellent concept. I liked the idea of a ‘table tablet’. (The latest Ideacentre Horizon tablet is retailing for £1,399 on Lenovo’s site at the moment.)

Well, the market is about to hot up with new entrant, Ocado. For our international readers, I should point out that Ocado is very well known in the UK as one of the best providers of online grocery delivery services.

Recently rival and hugely dominant supermarket chain Tesco has had phenomenal success with their 7” HUDL Android tablet range repeatedly selling out.

Ocado were clearly watching with interest.

Today they’re launching a 42” tablet (branded, “sLablet”).

Here’s a product shot:

Ocado Technology 42 inch Slablet - the world's biggest tablet [IMAGE 1]

Granted, this is rather big. That’s the first thing you’re thinking, right? Incidentally I reckon 42” is the size of our home TV!

The 42” sLablet is most definitely “category defining” as the press release puts it.

But I’m sure there will be quite a few folk queuing up to get one, especially given the price: £597. That’s almost a third of the cost of the 27” Lenovo Ideacentre Horizon.

The team over at Ocado Technology haven’t skimped on the hardware though: 300mbps WiFi (also with the newly approved category ‘fu’ and ‘ck’ wavelength support), 4k resolution (at 3840 x 2160 pixels) and a rather disappointing 12MP integrated HD camera.

It’s not the only disappointing issue though. The battery will only do 60 minutes, following a wholly unacceptable (in my view, anyway) 19 hour charge cycle. I think that’s going to seriously limit the portability.

And — well, it’s the portability that’s probably the biggest thing that bothers me about the sLablet. It weights a back-crushing 35,000 grammes. But, conversely, it does come with straps! Probably the only tablet I’ve ever come across that comes with straps out-of-the-box.

Here’s a rather brave chap using the sLablet in the park:

Ocado Technology 42 inch Slablet - the world's biggest tablet [IMAGE 2]

Neil Simmons, Ocado’s VP of Ocado Technology’s Quadro-Fabricated Division, says of the sLablet:

“We thought, why be shackled by the constraints of a 7″ tablet? We wanted to escape the claustrophobic conformity that these devices were inexplicably enforcing on consumers.”

“In order for us to stay at the forefront of the latest consumer trends, we needed to look backwards to what we’ve done, then to look sideways to what was going on around us. Finally we then looked forwards to what we haven’t done. We therefore decided to create the world’s biggest tablet to allow consumers to easily browse the world’s largest grocery range of over 34,000 product lines.”

My view?

First, I think Ocado should be thinking about the battery. No one is going to use this thing on the train. Not with just 60 minutes of battery. And really, the size? Surely there are limited use cases for something this big?

The photography (and the promotional video) has people walking about with their 60-minute-powered sLablets in offices and in parks! That feels rather unrealistic to me. Although when I saw the woman in the video scrolling through webpages like she was looking at a video-activated table, I was sold on the concept.

In a snub to Tesco — unusual in corporate press releases — Neil finishes with this point:

“The sLablet is 500% larger than a traditional 7” tablet and therefore, 100% better than rival supermarket tablets.”

(Of course for the avoidance of doubt I should point out that Neil doesn’t mention Tesco directly!)

The sLablet does make sense though. Ocado — like the other supermarkets — is having to respond to the market pressure from Tesco. At just under £600 gets you a lot of tablet for your money, especially when you look at the retail price of the iPad Air’s entry level model (£399).

Given almost 45% of Ocado customers check-out on their mobile device (a friend of mine does his shopping via the Ocado app on his daily commute), it’s no surprise that the company’s tech division has felt they needed to act.

A 42” tablet? Who’d have thought. It’s absolutely unbelievable!

What do you think? Will you be buying one?

Here’s the video too:

 

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Here’s the full release from Ocado:

Ocado Technology today launches the world’s largest tablet, the category defining 42” sLablet. With its desktop-class architecture, the sLablet leads the large tablet market, which includes Samsung’s recently released 12.2″ Galaxy Note Pro and Apple’s rumoured 12.9″ iPad Pro, due later this year.

The launch video detailing the sLablet and its capabilities can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/1loLK0j

Neil Simmons, Vice President of Ocado Technology’s Quadro-Fabricated Division said:  “The market for tablets of this size is literally massive. Precision-engineered and weighing in at a svelte 35,000 grammes, the sLablet has been designed with every consumer in mind, from David Haye to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.”

The sLablet’s ultrafast 300 mbps Wi-Fi capability and powerful 4k resolution of 3840 X 2160 makes web pages, text, images and video look incredibly sharp and realistic, making content even more immersive.  Moreover, its next generation 12 MP HD camera features image stabilisation so muscle spasms induced by holding the sLablet don’t ruin users’ selfies.

Priced at £597, the sLablet provides up to 1hr battery life (following a 19hr charge) and is only 20cm deep, ensuring complete unportability. It is also equipped with two unique self-adjusting strap mount systems, enabling the user to attach the sLablet to their back like a backpack or around their neck.

Neil Simmons continued: “We thought, why be shackled by the constraints of a 7″ tablet? We wanted to escape the claustrophobic conformity that these devices were inexplicably enforcing on consumers.

“In order for us to stay at the forefront of the latest consumer trends, we needed to look backwards to what we’ve done, then to look sideways to what was going on around us. Finally we then looked forwards to what we haven’t done. We therefore decided to create the world’s biggest tablet to allow consumers to easily browse the world’s largest grocery range of over 34,000 product lines.

“The sLablet is 500% larger than a traditional 7” tablet and therefore, 100% better than rival supermarket tablets.”

Ryan Lipowitz, Head of Technological Innovational-Innovations at Ocado Technology added: “We found that 80% of the time, 40% of people needed a device that had 120% the power of desktop, 12% of the time. Once you hold one in your arms you will understand what an incredible advancement this is, delivering all-lunch battery life in the biggest full-sized tablet in the world.”

PS: April Fool.

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  • garethjames

    Brilliant! Awe inspiring! Even though Ocado are somewhat reluctant to deliver to the Arctic circle I think I might be able to convince them to deliver some oak smoked bacon and a bottle of oyster juice if I order, say, eight or nine of these at the same time! Can’t wait to see my two year old using his! ;-)

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    It does make a lot of sense for those tasks that need a lot more screen real estate — like grocery shopping! ;)

    Ewan MacLeod | 07769658104 | em@mobileindustryreview.com

  • http://www.i2SMS.com/ Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    How’s the expression go, “fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me.” I fell for that one last year. Always good to know you are still up to the task each year. Hey, didn’t you joke about MS buying Nokia one year? I think you did something like that years ago…

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan
  • http://www.i2SMS.com/ Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    Exactly! How bout that! Very cool that you picked something crazy and then it happened. Not a bad memory on my end either!

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan

    I think I was out by about $92 billion though. It just goes to show the huge loss in market value of Nokia. When I wrote that original April Fool story, I had to make it sound like Microsoft had paid a premium, but the figure had to feel realistic — hence my choice of $100bn!
    If memory serves, Nokia sold to Microsoft for $8bn…

  • Vincent Wolf

    You’ll need two people just to set it out on the table as it weighs 77 lbs!! One hour battery forget about it! It’s certainly not would anyone would call a portable PC!!

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