With the new Galaxy Tab S, Samsung finally has a tablet worth paying attention to.
I’ll admit, I’ve become disillusioned with the company’s Android slates over the years. Samsung produced some of the first Android slates, but that was long before the OS was even optimized for bigger screens. Most recently, Samsung has pushed its stylus-equipped Galaxy Note line to prove it can differentiate from the competition (they’re fine Android tablets, but nothing special).
Samsung went back to the basics with the Galaxy Tab S, crafting an incredibly light device with one of the most stunning screens I’ve seen yet in any device. For these new tablets, Samsung plugged in its latest Super AMOLED displays with a sharp quad-HD display running at a 2,560 by 1,600 resolution. It offers a brighter screen, faster response time, and deeper contrast than typical LCD screens and even Apple’s Retina Display.
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Viewing photos and video on the 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S was a revelatory experience. Colors popped to life, blacks appeared dark as night, and many moments in Samsung’s demo video looked almost 3D. Samsung isn’t wasting any time hyping up these screens, but in this case the technology actually matches the marketing fluff.
Both the 10.5-inch and 8.4-inch Galaxy Tab S models are around 6.6-millimeters thick and weigh under a pound. The larger Tab S felt more comfortable in my hand than the iPad Air, while the smaller model felt like an incredibly thin paperback.
While I’m impressed by the screens Samsung delivered in the Tab S, I’m still not sure the average consumer would see the difference. Priced at $399 and $499, they still face stiff competition from cheaper small tablets and the more robust iOS ecosystem.
Check out my hands-on video with the Galaxy Tab S below.