Samsung continues to play catch-up with Apple’s iPad with the release of its thinnest and lightest tablet to date, which also features a bright and colourful display and a number of treats to tempt new users.
As the iPad continues to dominate the tablet market, it seems Samsung has no choice but to chase Apple’s coat tails and release similar devices with enough add-ons to make for a good deal.
The Galaxy Tab S’ key selling point is its WQXGA Super AMOLED panel offering a rich and crisp 16:10 display with a screen resolution of 2,560 x 1,600. Reports from the ground at the launch event attest to the Tab’s bright and colourful display, which Samsung claims delivers more than 90pc of Adobe RGB colour coverage plus a 100,000:1 contrast ratio for blacker blacks and whiter whites.
According to JK Shin, CEO and president of Samsung Electronics’ IT and mobile division, display is the critical feature for tablets, as these devices find their niche as personal screens for viewing content. To ensure the Tab S display is at its best at all times, Adaptive Display technology has been included to adjust gamma, saturation and sharpness based on the application in use, the colour temperature of the environment and the ambient lighting.
A 10.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S with Book Cover
Users can also manually select pre-set display modes, such as AMOLED Cinema and AMOLED Photo to best display photo or video content.
All in all, Samsung promises a screen you can see even in bright sunlight, thanks to advanced outdoor visibility technology and, since Super AMOLED doesn’t need a backlight, the Tab S also consumes less energy than its LCD competitors.
Speaking of battery power, the Galaxy Tab S is packing 7,900mAh, which should be enough for 11 hours of 1080p video playback.
The device also sports an 8MP front-facing camera with flash LED, dual speakers, 3GB RAM and the latest Android 4.4 mobile operating system.
A number of models are available to choose from, taking your pick between 10.5-inch or 8.5-inch screens, Wi-Fi-only or a Wi-Fi/LTE combination, 16GB or 32GB of storage, and bronze or white colouring.
All flavours offer micro-SD storage expansion up to 128GB and a slim profile of just 6.6mm, and prices for US customers start at US$399.
The 8.4-inch Galaxy Tab S range
New features introduced along with the Galaxy Tab S include SideSync 3.0, which lets users make and receive calls through pairing with a Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. S5 users can also mirror the screen of the smaller device to access its apps and features, and even drag and drop files and media to and from the smartphone.
A Call Forwarding feature means other smartphone users will be able to make and receive calls from a paired smartphone, while a built-in fingerprint scanner keeps access for the user’s fingers only.
Users can set up multiple profiles on the Tab S and avail of a Kids’ Mode with a child-friendly interface and apps.
One area where Samsung has been ahead of Apple is in providing multi-tasking abilities on its tablet devices. However, Apple has since caught up with the South Korean electronics giant in this respect and, with the Tab S, Samsung hasn’t done enough to enhance this feature and maintain its pole position.
What Samsung has resorted to is a number of marketing partnerships with products and services, such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Kindle and LinkedIn, as well as a range of noted publishers, to cut deals for its customers with free-trial subscriptions and other short-lived benefits.
These ‘Galaxy Gifts’ vary by region, though, and not all benefits will be available to all users.
The Galaxy Tab S will be available in July 2014, along with a range of accessories, including a foldable Book Cover to provide different display angles and an attachable Bluetooth keyboard.