Samsung is banking on the auto-adjusting, high-resolution Super AMOLED screens on its Galaxy Tab S tablets, which also weigh less than Apple's latest iPads, to help it maintain momentum in a tough market.
Not content with the plethora of tablets with different screen sizes and network configurations it already offers, Samsung yesterday added the Galaxy Tab S to its lineup. The Tab S will ship in early July, but can be pre-ordered today.
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"This new tablet [has] raised the tablet viewing experience," said DJ Lee, head of sales and marketing for the communications division at Samsung Electronics, at an event in New York City's Madison Square Garden.
There are two models to choose between, one with an 8.4-inch screen and one with a 10.5-inch screen. Both are based on Super AMOLED technology and have a 2560-by-1600-pixel resolution. The company promises better contrast and color reproduction, it said. In comparison, Apple's iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display have a 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution.
LCDs require backlighting and filters to display images and colors, and Super AMOLED reproduces colors more accurately, said Michael Abary, senior vice president of Samsung Electronics North America, at the event. The reds, greens, and blues are brighter and more accurate than on traditional LCDs, he said. However, in Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones that use Super AMOLED LCDs, the colors can be unnaturally garish.
The tablets also have a feature called Adaptive Display, which changes screen settings based on the content being viewed and the ambient lighting conditions. It has three settings it automatically switches among as needed, and users can also manually select a display setting.
The tablets are set to adjust the screen when using Samsung's own apps for movies, photos, e-books, video calls, camera, and browsing. The Adaptive Display technology adjusts gamma, contrast and saturation. Using sensors that detect ambient lighting, Adaptive Display can also adjust brightness and color based on the user's surroundings. Samsung claims the screens let people read e-books comfortably even in outdoor light.
Samsung is hoping that the screen, along with overall size and weight, will separate its new tablets from the competition. The Wi-Fi version of the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 weighs 294 grams, which is 37 grams lighter than the iPad Mini with Retina display. At 465 grams, the Wi-Fi version of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is, on the other hand, only 4 grams lighter than the iPad Air's 469 grams.
Both devices are 6.6mm thick, which is thinner than the iPad Air's and the iPad Mini's 7.5mm thickness.
Samsung is sticking with a plastic back, but the bronze version of the new tablets looks better than the much maligned Galaxy S5's case.
Both tablets run Android 4.4 KitKat and are powered by either Samsung's own Exynos 5 processor -- running four cores at 1.9GHz and another four cores at 1.3GHz -- or a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor from Qualcomm with a 2.3GHz clock speed.
They both have an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 2.1-megapixel camera on the front. They also have 3GB of RAM and a choice of 16GB or 32GB of internal flash storage. The flash storage can be expanded with up to 128GB using the MicroSD card slot.