Thursday 18 January 2018

Samsung's new tablet goes head-to-head with iPad

Samsung launches Super AMOLED Tab S

A Samsung executive introduces a new tablet at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year.
A Samsung executive introduces a new tablet at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Matthew Sparkes

Samsung is taking the tablet fight to Apple with new Galaxy Tab S devices available with 8.4in or 10.5in Super AMOLED screens, offering darker blacks, brighter whites and more vibrant colours than are currently possible with the TFT screens used in the iPad.

The Tab S is the first Samsung tablet to use AMOLED technology - which the company manufactures itself in South Korea.

The new tablets, unveiled this evening at an event in New York, both offer the same 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution and have a claimed contrast ratio 100 times greater than TFT panels - meaning that the cloudy areas you see when watching darker scenes in films are replaced with deeper, glossy blacks.

Samsung also claims that they are capable of showing 20 per cent more of the visible light spectrum than TFT panels.

Adaptive display technology changes the saturation of the screen to offer the best viewing experience in different ambient light. In a cafe it might give different settings to a dark bedroom, of example, always trying to make the screen easy on the eyes.

Last year the company said it wanted to really focus on the tablet market, and today it claimed that the Tab S will be a "turning point".

Each of the sizes will be available in two colours: titanium bronze and dazzling white, and all models will feature the same dimpled back panel seen on the Galaxy S5 smartphone.

The 8.4in version weighs 294g and the larger 10.5in weighs 465g. Both are just 6.6mm thick, which Samsung says is the height of five stacked credit cards.

The Tab S will sync with Samsung's growing range of wearable devices such as the Gear 2 and the Sidesync software lets you access your phone from your tablet wirelessly to take calls or play games stored on the other device. Multi-tasking gives you the ability to use two applications at once.

In another first for Samsung, they have included a fingerprint scanner on a tablet which will allow secure log-in and to sign online payments via PayPal.

The devices come with either a "smart" or "book" cover, the former being a slimline version and the latter offering more protection and three different options for propping up the device. All cases will come in a choice of six colours and attach with small mechanical clickers rather than the magnets found on the iPad.

A Bluetooth keyboard which turns the device into a tiny laptop will also be available for sale at launch.

The rear of the Tab S has an eight mega pixel camera with a flash, and the front has a 2.1 mega pixel sensor for video chats.

It will run Android KitKat 4.4 and come equipped with 3GB ram, with a choice of either 16GB or 32GB internal storage. Samsung has opted for its own Exynos processor, like that found in the Galaxy S5.

Samsung say that pricing will be between $400 and $500 but have not revealed exact UK sales prices or launch dates.

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