Last night, Korean tech giant, Samsung held an unveiling event for its latest line of tablets. Dubbed the Galaxy Tab S, these tablets are packed with many of the same features as the Galaxy S smartphone range, and represent the companies attempt to have a single, high quality ‘flagship’ brand. Indeed, the Galaxy Tab S range is the company’s best attempt yet at creating a tablet which could compete with, and indeed beat the market-leading iPad.
The first impression that you receive from the two 10.5’’ and 8.4’’ variants of the Tab S is how closely they conform to the design language of the Galaxy S5 smartphone. Both tablets feature the dimpled matte plastic back cover of the S5 as well as remarkably similar bezels and other aesthetic elements. It is clear that Samsung is trying to create a unified ‘look’ for the Galaxy flagship range.
In terms of dimensions, the tablets are extraordinarily thin and very light. Both the 10’5 and 8.4’’ devices measure a mere 6.6mm thick, and weigh in at 465g and 298g respectively. They also feature rounded bezels for easy grip, and the usual array of physical buttons controlling the home screen, volume, and power.
Powering these tabs is the kind of chipset that we have come to expect from a high-end release. This includes a 1.9GHz Exynos 5 Octa processor created by Samsung, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. In addition, in terms of endurance, the 10.5’’ model comes with a 7900mAh battery while the 8.4’’ version comes with a smaller 4900mAh battery.
The main selling point of these new tablets for Samsung is their use of the Super AMOLED display. Previously restricted to Samsung’s smartphone range, they are now finally debuting the patented display technology on tablets in the Tab S range. The Super AMOLED screen itself promises a better viewing experience through deeper blacks and a much wider range of colours as compared to a standard display.
As well as containing this unique tech, the displays on both tablets feature a greater-than-HD 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution in a 16:10 aspect ratio. These give the screen an incredibly crisp feel, delivering detail even on small text, and with no visible pixels. Indeed, with a pixel density of 359.4ppi for the 8.4’’ model and 287.5ppi for the 10.5’’, the resolution significantly exceeds the Retina display found on iPad devices.
While hardware is the obvious selling point of the Galaxy Tab S range, the tablets also feature some interesting new software. Among these is SideSync 3.0, a program which lets you remotely control another Samsung device such a smartphone or smart watch. This would theoretically enable a user to perform tasks such as answering a phone call on their tablet. Another interesting feature is the Adaptive Display software which the device runs. This allows the display to recognise both what the tablet is being used for at any given time, as well as the lighting conditions, in order to show the best possible image quality.
While not to the same extent as Microsoft with the Surface Pro 3, Samsung has taken time to develop specialised peripherals and accessories for the Tab S range. Among the most notable of these is a ‘Book Cover’ which functions both as a standard screen protecting cover, as well as a stand with 3 possible viewing positions. The other interesting accessories, is a Bluetooth keyboard designed to easily fit to the tablet’s body, and to meld with the Galaxy aesthetics when in a closed position.
In summary this Tab S range features some of the best Android tablets we have ever seen. They beat the iPad both on display quality and on general functionality. However this may not be for long - Apple is widely rumoured to be releasing new products Q3 this year. Should this include new iPads, Apple may once again have the best tablet in the market. All said, for now, Samsung is King.
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