Samsung has a new tablet, and the company is framing this as their new flagship slate line. The Galaxy Tab S was unveiled at an event last week, and brings an ultra-thin design and a super high-resolution display to Samsung’s Android-powered tablets. In both 8.4 and 10.5-inch flavors, these tablets promise dynamic screens that change their settings depending on content types. The Tab S hits the U.S. starting June 27, with a retail price of $399.99 and $499.99 for Wi-Fi versions of the 8.4 and 10.5 respectively.
We’ll have full reviews forthcoming for the new tablets, but for now I got to spend a limited amount of hands-on time with the Tab S 8.4. Samsung is making a lot of marketing claims around this device, suggesting it’s something that injects some genuine fresh energy into its tablet lineup, but does it live up to those claims? We’ll require more time with the gadget, but initial impressions reveal that Samsung’s highlight features on this tablet are indeed highlights.
The screen on the Galaxy Tab S really is amazing in person. It has a 2560 x 1600 screen that uses SuperAMOLED tech to delivery crazy contrast and color – but at times this can go too far, depending on your tastes. Oversaturation is an issue, with colors that are exaggerated over what you can actually find in real life. Some people love this, though, and the demo videos included on the slate really do pop on that screen. Detail is crisp and clear, but for most standard 1080 videos you might not get as impressive results. It should still be an extremely solid media playback device, however you slice it.
The weight and thinness of the device is also very impressive on first encounter, despite the fact that the construction is still plastic and shares the somewhat blah design chops of the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S5. It’s better looking than either of these somehow (might be the solid edging) and the portability is tremendous.
OS and software are still going to be important factors in the overall picture, and we haven’t had time to give those a full run-through yet, but Samsung has made some decidedly impressive technical improvements to its Tabs based on first impressions.