Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Tab S, the company’s thinnest
and lightest tablet so far with a super-sharp screen. It will
launch in selected markets July 2014.
There are a range of different options for the Tab S. The device
comes in 8.4in and 10.5in versions, weighing in at 295g and 465g
respectively at a thickness — or should we say thinness — of
6.6mm (the iPad Air comes in at 7.5mm). This means that it’s just
lighter than than than the iPad mini 2 (314g) and iPad Air (478g)
and at only 6.6mm thick, they are also thinner than the Apple
The tablets come with just Wi-Fi or WiFi and LTE and with 3GB of
Ram and either 16GB or 32GB storage — with the option of up to
128GB with MicroSD. Colour-wise, the options are “Titanium Bronze”
or “Dazzling White”. So bronze and white, then.
The Samsung tablets have a pretty slick screen, with a
resolution of 2560×1600 enhanced by Samsung’s Super AMOLED display
which, according to Samsung, expresses “more colours than ever
before” and offers darker blacks and brighter whites. It has a
pixel density of 359ppi and an adaptive display adjusts according
to the lighting environment, and promises to let you see your
screen easily in bright sunlight.
The Galaxy Tab S — which runs with the Android 4.4 KitKat
operating system — has been designed with productivity in mind,
letting you make and receive calls directly on the tablet thanks to
a call forwarding feature, regardless of where your mobile phone
is. Quick Connect allows for easy content sharing, but connecting
to near devices. It also lets you multitask, allowing you to watch
videos, browse, share content and make calls simultaneously. These
features work whether you have the WiFi or LTE version of the
The tablet comes with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with
flash and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. Samsung claims an
11-hour battery life for continuous video watching on both tablets.
This battery life is managed by Samsung’s octa-core mobile CPU, the
Exynos 5 Octa, which divides up the work between a 1.9 GHz quad
core processor and a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor.
There are a number of security features, including a built-in
fingerprint scanner, a multi-user mode that lets you create
individual profiles for different users, and a kids’ mode with a
child-friendly interface and apps.
The device comes with a load of preloaded content, including
companion football app Kick, that offers up realtime data as
matches are played; music service Milk and Samsung’s digital
magazine service Papergarden. There are also a bunch of “Galaxy
Gifts” — content freebies to lure you in. This means the Tab S
comes with three months of unlimited access to Marvel’s comics,
thanks to a Samsung-Marvel strategic partnership; LinkedIn premium
membership; subscriptions to the Economist, Wall
Street Journal and the Washington Post, and a free
Kindle book and some freebie content from Google Play, including
the movie Gravity.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets will go on sale on 4 July. The
Galaxy Tab S 8.4 will cost £349 for the entry level model, rising
to £449 for the model with 4G LTE connectivity. This means that it
is actually more expensive (by around £30) than the the comparable
Apple iPad mini 2 — the one with 16GB and no 4G. The Galaxy Tab S
10.5 starts at £449 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model. The prices of
the LTE models haven’t been revealed yet, but expect somewhere in
the region of £550. Having said that, Samsung could well drop the
price in the near future, as it has done with previous products
including the Samsung Galaxy S5.