Last night at Madison Square Garden, Samsung showed off its latest Tablet, the Galaxy Tab S. Borrowing features from the the Galaxy S 5, it represents the new flagship tablet for Samsung. However, this is isn’t just a cosmetic update, Samsung announced some pretty big feature and content updates. Let’s take a look.
Galaxy Tab S
The Galaxy Tab S is built around a 2560×1600 AMOLED Display. Samsung contends that this display covers 90% of the Adobe RGB Color spectrum while a high resolution LED Backlit screen covers only 75%. The screen comes in two screen sizes: 8.4 and 10.5″ Unlike most Android tablets, these are 16:10 instead of 16:9. That might leave a bit of letter boxing of videos, but it’s better for productivity. They are powered by a Snapdragon 800 CPU (or 4×4 8-core Exynos in international markets) at 2.3GHz. It might be last year’s CPU, but it’s still very relevant as far as 32-bit chips go. It also features a 2.1MP camera on the front and a 8MP camera on the rear. Unusual for a tablet, the rear camera has an LED flash like a smart phone. Like its phone brethren, it has the fingerprint sensor. The International version has 7 bands of LTE, though I’d expect this to be customized per carrier in the states. Lastly, you’re looking at a 4900mAh battery in the 8.4″ and 7900 in the 10.5.
Visually, it takes its cues from the GS 5, but with a bit more bling. The white plastic front, dimpled back, and metal strip sandwiched between comes to the GS Tab. The metal accent color has been changed from chrome to gold. Like I said, more bling. The case is an impressive 6.6mm thin. That makes the 7.5″ of the iPad Mini and Air almost look thick by comparison.
The GS Tab is based upon Kit Kat, though it’s Samsung’s heavily, heavily skinned version. It has SideSync 3.0 with call forwarding technology from a smartphone. That would have been impressive 60 days ago, but Samsung’s Android competitors announced similar sharing and it’s part of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite as well. Still, if you have a GS 5, there’s some pretty remarkable sharing there including being able to remotely operate your phone through a screen emulator. The Tab-S has Samsung’s take on a multi-user mode and it works with the aforementioned fingerprint sensor. There’s also the previously announced kids mode. This still makes a ton of sense.
Samsung is offering a bunch of free content and calling it Galaxy Gifts. Most of these are extended trials, but not all of them. You get free content in games, extended trial subscriptions to known papers, and even free cloud data. You get a year of Evernote Premium, 2 years of 50GB Dropbox, free cars in Asphalt, and I could go on and on. The two most interesting parts were Marvel Unlimited and Kindle. The Marvel Unlimited at a 3-month trial isn’t that interesting itself, but they employed actor Paul Bettany to reprise his JARVIS voice role. Amazon will give owners a free book a month and special deals. This is especially curious since they just teamed with competitor Barnes and Nobel and a co-branded Nook version of the Galaxy Tab 4.
Pricing and availability
The Galaxy Tab S will cost $399 for the 8.4″ and $499 for the 10.5″ Tablet. They are now available for pre-order. The Wi-Fi version will be available in July at well known retailers and AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint plan to carry cellular versions.
The Galaxy Tab S isn’t groundbreaking, but it looks like a solid device at a good price. If you’re looking for an Android tablet and can wait a month, the Tab S might be worth waiting for. But what did you think of it? leave us a comment and let us know.