Samsung Announces High-Def Tablets to Fight iPad
Samsung knows that people love to watch video on their tablets, so it only makes sense that the company take one of the best parts of its Galaxy S5 phone—the rich AMOLED display—and supersize it for the new Galaxy Tab S. Coming in July in 8.4-inch ($399) and 10.5-inch ($499) sizes, both new tablets beat the iPad Air and iPad mini Retina when it comes to contrast, color and resolution. Plus, you can take calls and interact with your Galaxy S phone right from the larger display.
We went hands-on with the new Tab S slates just prior to their debut, and we’re loving the luscious screens, thin designs and family sharing features. But the accessories were a little trickier to use than we’d like.
Design: Thinner Than Air
If you’re looking for metal, you’ve still come to the wrong place, but Samsung deserves credit for delivering designs that feel modern and warm at the same time. Sporting clean lines, the Tab S comes in Dazzling White and Titanium Bronze, and they sport a dotted pattern on the back that’s similar to the Galaxy S5.
As with the S5, you’ll also find a fingerprint sensor in the Home button for unlocking your device and making payments via PayPal. However, there’s a key design difference between the Tab S and S5. The tablet’s back cover houses two dimples that connect to Samsung’s new covers, which snap into place.
The new Tab S devices are also strikingly thin, measuring just 0.26 inche, compared to 0.29 inches for the iPad Air and mini. The 8.4-inch Tab S weighs 13.9 ounces, while the 10.5 inch model weighs 1.02 pounds. The aluminum clad 7.9 inch Retina Mini and 9.7-inch Air weigh a lighter 11.7 ounces and 1 pound, respectively, but they have smaller screens.
Awesome AMOLED Display
Samsung says that the 2560 x 1600-pixel AMOLED display on the Tab S has a 100 times better contrast ratio than other tablets with LCD screens, and we believe them. A nature video that showed a gorilla, fox and other animals looked as good as the real thing—actually better. The latest iPads look a little cloudier in dark scenes, and the resolution is a lower 2048 x 1536 pixels.
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As with the Galaxy S5 and Note 3 phones, AMOLED delivers brighter whites and darker blacks, as well as superior viewing angles. Plus, Samsung’s Adaptive Display tech automatically optimizes the color range, saturation and sharpness based on the lighting conditions. During our demo, we watched as a webpage’s look adjusted in real time as a company rep adjusted the lighting.