Samsung has a new line of tablets launching this summer called the Galaxy Tab S.
The Galaxy Tab S comes in two sizes: a 10.4-inch model and an 8.4-inch model. Both are essentially the same on the inside as far as specs go, but the big selling point here is the screen. Samsung put its Super AMOLED display on a tablet for the first time. It’s the same type of display used on the Galaxy S5 phone, which many folks in the industry have called the best screen on the market.
The screen looks really nice in person. This is an HD video running on the tablet, but the photo doesn’t really do it justice:
Samsung makes a lot of different tablet models under the Galaxy name, but the Galaxy Tab S will be marketed as the company’s flagship brand. It’s priced the same as the iPad Mini and iPad Air. The 8.4-incher starts at $US399; the 10.5-incher starts at $US499. (Those are the prices for the Wi-Fi models with 16GB of memory. Samsung will launch a 4G LTE version later.)
The tablets are very thin and light. Both measure just 6.6 millimeters thick (that’s thinner than the iPad Air, which is 7.5 millimeters thick). The 10.5-inch tablet weighs 1 pound, and the 8.4-inch model weighs 10 ounces.
It feels good, too. Unlike previous tablets from Samsung, the Galaxy Tab S feels sturdy instead of creaky and plasticky. It looks good from the front, but the back has the same tacky dimpled plastic that originally debuted on the Galaxy S5. There’s also a kitschy bronze-coloured border along the sides.
Also like the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Tab S has a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button. You can use it to unlock the device without a passcode or make payments through PayPal. The fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S5 doesn’t work very well, so we don’t have high hopes for the one on the Galaxy Tab S.
Samsung also designed new cases for the Galaxy Tab S called Book Covers. They snap onto the back of the tablet and let you prop it on the table to three different viewing angles.
The Galaxy Tab S is an Android tablet, but Samsung modified the software a lot to add some of its own features and tricks. For example, you can pair the tablet to your Galaxy smartphone over Wi-Fi and drag and drop photos and files between the two devices. You can also use the pairing mode to make calls on the tablet.
There’s no specific launch date, but the Galaxy Tab S should start shipping in early July.