Last week, Samsung announced their newest tablet line, the Galaxy Tab S. We had the chance to spend some time with it at the New York event. Following the presentation, we thought that the Tab S will be just a beefed up Galaxy Tab Pro tablet. We were wrong!
The Galaxy Tab S comes in two flavors: 8.4″ and 10.5″. Both sport the same features which are an Exynos Octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 16 or 32 GB internal storage, microSD slot (up to 128GB), 8MP rear camera with flash, 2.1MP front camera and Android 4.4 Kitkat. The difference lays, of course, in the screen size, battery size and the dimensions. The 8.4-inch Tab S measures 125.6 x 212.8 x 6.6mm, weighs 298g and has a 4,900 mAh battery. The 10.5-inch measures 247.3 x 177.3 x 6.6 mm,weighs 467g and has a 7,900 mAh battery.
Specs aside, The Galaxy Tab S feels amazingly light and an easy to hold. Aesthetically, it looks a lot like the Galaxy S5 and 1.5mm slimmer. You’ll find the usual physical home button along with the back and multitasking capacitive buttons.
You guessed it right. Touchwiz is still alive and it doesn’t look as bad as we thought it would. Samsung did a good job making their UI tablet friendly with a few new additions. One of them is Papergarden which is somewhat similar to Google Play Newsstand. Samsung wants you to know that magazines will look nice on the Tab S thanks to its 2560 x 1440 resolution. They even had a Retina iPad mini to compare to (see picture below). They partnered with major magazines such as HGTV magazine, Vogue, GQ and US Weekly to offer free content until July 31, 2014 – you also a free 3-month trial of Marvel Unlimited.
SideSync 3.0 is another cool feature. With it, you can transfer phone calls to the Galaxy Tab S. There is also a Kid Mode which allows you control what your little ones are doing on the tablet. WatchOn and Milk Music are also present in the Galaxy slate.
As far as performance is concerned, the Tab S was very responsive even though there was only 4.27GB of space was available out of the total 16GB – that’s a mere 26%. We’d have to spend some more time with it to see how things really are.
During the event, Samsung also introduced a couple of covers (simple and book) and a Bluetooth keyboard. Our favorite one was definitely the latter. We like the keyboard button layout and the design was really nice, even though it adds some bulk to the Galaxy Tab S. The Simple Cover is pretty much just like its name says. It gives the tablet basic protection with one viewing position. The Book Cover however is an “upgraded” Simple cover. It offers a decent protection with 3 viewing positions (greenish cover below).
Pricing and Availability
Surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S pricing is reasonable. You can buy the 8.4-inch slate for $399 while the 10.5-inch one goes for $499. You can pre-order wither directly from Samsung or from authorized retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy and Sears where you get a free cover plus $100 back in rewards. If you’re still unconvinced, we suggest you hit a retail location on June 27 to check one up yourself. You will be impressed!