Yesterday Samsung unveiled its latest star player in the tablet space at a dedicated launch event in New York. Meet the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S: Design and hardware
The new Galaxy Tab S is more of what you know in a bigger package. Underneath, the underpinnings are extremely reminiscent of the company’s top smartphone, the Galaxy S5, and it looks as though the phone has influenced every facet of the tablet’s creation. It features the same dimpled backing, similar colour combinations, a fingerprint-scanning home button and it’s impeccably thin at just 6.6mm.
With the exception of dimensions and battery capacity, the two flavours of Galaxy Tab S feature identical specifications, and that’s a good thing. These two tablets are Samsung’s most obvious attempts to date at trying to unseat Apple’s iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 from the top tablet spot.
Both the 8.4-inch and larger 10.5-inch tablets feature a killer WQXGA (2560×1600) Super AMOLED display (outclassing both latest iPads with regards to resolution). Depending on the market you’re picking one up in, the brains of the operation will either be Samsung’s own Exynos 5 Octa chip or a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, like the one found in the Galaxy S5 here in the UK.
In the memory department, there’s 3GB of RAM, with 16GB or 32GB storage options and 128GB microSD support for those who want to expand things even further. Connectivity also falls to two models, a WiFi-only and a 4G-capable version of each tab, with Bluetooth 4.0 and an IR blaster to control compatible devices around you.
The last key tidbits of hardware goodness come in the form of the cameras: 8-megapixels and 2.1-megapixels on the back and front respectively. Battery capacity takes the form of the larger 10.5-inch model sporting a 7900mAh cell and the smaller 8.4-inch slate rocking a 4900mAh power plant.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S: OS and software
On the inside, this tablet is no slouch either. Samsung’s custom take on the latest Android KitKat still looks a little cluttered, but it’s packed with features and functions; the most notable addition being SideSync 3.0. Much like Apple’s Continuity feature set, this lets Galaxy S5 owners actually view the homescreen of their smartphone on the Tab S. You have access to all of its functions, including being able to make/take calls, which sort of awkwardly converts the 10.5-inch model into Samsung’s largest phone to date.
To sweeten the deal, Samsung’s also offering a number of goodies for buyers to enjoy in the form of Galaxy Gifts – a special app which grants discounts and free subscriptions to various paid apps and services including; a free car pack in Asphalt 8, 2GB of free Dropbox storage for two years, three months free subscription to Marvel Unlimited digital comics (which comes as the result of a newly announced partnership between Samsung and Marvel) and a six month trial of Livesport TV to name but a few (check the via link for the full list).
Samsung Galaxy Tab S: Accessories
Those looking for a powerful Android tablet that’s geared towards both work and play have a tantalising new option in the form of the Tab S. Samsung and Logitech have also announced dedicated keyboard accessories which up the productivity factor immensely.
The Samsung Bluetooth Keyboard (left) practically turns the Tab S into a laptop, whilst Logitech’s Type-S keyboard cover (right) can be arranged in all sorts of positions and boosts battery longevity by up to three months. Not to mention Samsung offers other new cases too, such as the Book Cover and the Simple Cover.
Samsung stated a broad launch window of next month, but we’ll keep you updated if that becomes any narrower.
Do you think the Samsung Galaxy Tab S twins have what it takes to tackle Apple’s top tablets? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Update (25/6/2014): Samsung UK has just revealed that both sizes of the Tab S should hit the UK on July 4th. They’re now available for pre-order from a number of retailers including Samsung directly. Prices start at £329 for the 8.4-inch WiFi-only model up to £479 for the 10.5-inch WiFi/4G capable model. Head here if you’re interested in laying down some cash for one.