Samsung's Galaxy Tab S boasts a high-res OLED display in its thinnest, lightest tablet ever

samsung tabsevent2
Credit: Florence Ion

Samsung is taking the fight to Amazon and Apple with the introduction of the Galaxy Tab S tablet. The new tablets, available in 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch varieties, are thinner and lighter than the Kindle Fire HDX or iPad Air. What's more, Samsung has worked deals with many app and content providers to provide a heap of free stuff for its new customers. 

The Galaxy Tab S boasts reasonable specs: either an Exynos 5 Octa or Snapdragon 800 processor (depending on the market), support for multiple mobile frequencies, an 8 megapixel rear camera and 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera, full 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, 3 GB of RAM, and either 16 or 32 GB of internal storage (expandable with a microSD card). It's a little disappointing that the processor isn't the newer and very impressive Snapdragon 801, but those are still great specs for a high-end tablet.

Thinner, lighter

What's most impressive isn't the system-on-chip (SoC) used, it's the thin and light frame Samsung crammed everything into. Both the 8.4 and 10.5-inch models clock in at 6.6mm, making them about a millimeter thinner than the Kindle Fire HDX or iPad Air.

Weight is very important in a tablet. Holding it up with one hand while reading a book or playing a one-hand game gets tiresome quickly. Samsung says the 8.4-inch Galaxy Tab S weights 10.5 ounces (for the LTE model), 3 ounces lighter than the Kindle Fire HDX and even 1.5 ounces lighter than an iPad mini. In the smaller tablet, Samsung has still managed  to stuff in a hefty 4900 mAh battery, while the larger tablet gets a 7900 mAh battery.

It's all about OLED

Samsung claims the world's best tablet display is to be found in the Galaxy Tab S. The OLED panel has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 on both the 8.4 and 10.5-inch models. This gives the smaller tablet a PPI (pixels-per-inch) of 359, and the larger one a PPI of 288. That's quite sharp (especially on the smaller version), meeting or exceeding Samsung's closest competitors. 

galaxys adobergb

Samsung boasts the largest color gamut of any tablet display.

Tired of talking about sRGB color space coverage, Samsung now boasts that its new tablets can display 90% of the Adobe RGB color space. That's the kind of extremely broad color expression you usually find only in professional monitors.

Let them eat content!

Not to be outdone by Amazon's impressive content story, Samsung has built it's own collection of partnerships. To start with, there's "Papergarden", a new optimized magazine-viewing environment exclusive to Samsung's products, and first on the Galaxy Tab S.

Comics fans be happy to get 4 months of Marvel Unlimited for free. A special Kindle for Samsung customized app will give Tab S users a free book every month, in addition to the usual Kindle library. Tab S users will get "access to a range of movie and entertainment content," as they put it, on Google Play. This includes the film Gravity, as well as a variety of books and magazines. The Tab S will also be the first Galaxy product to play Netflix content in full HD.

content home

Content is aggregated into Samsung's new Content Home interface.

Samsung has lined up a host of other "Galaxy Gifts" for its users, mostly in the form of long trial subscriptions to content services, and some free apps an in-game purchases in games. The full list is below.

The Tab S will be available in some markets by the end of June. In the U.S., the Wi-Fi version of the tablets will go on sale in July, with the 8.4-inch model costing $400, while the 10.5-inch model will be $500. The LTE models will follow shortly after.

 

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