Samsung's new line of high-end tablets boasts a gorgeous display, sophisticated design, and a thoughtful feature set.
will feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor. Both the Wi-Fi and LTE variants include 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB of built-in storage, and support microSD cards up to 128 GB.
No tablet is complete without a camera, and the new Tabs have two: an 8-megapixel main camera with flash, and a 2.1-megapixel user-facing camera. Both are capable of capturing 1080p HD video, which can be edited thanks to the powerful photo and video apps on board. Other specs include dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, GPS/GLONASS, and sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S includes a fingerprint scanner, just like the Galaxy S5. It is built into the physical home button on the front of the device. Users can train the Tab to recognize their fingerprint and then swipe to unlock the tablet or even protect individual files.
(image source: Samsung)
Speaking of protecting files, the Tab S features a Kid Mode -- something the iPad does not. Parents can configure the device for safe use by kids, which prevents them from accessing apps such as email, the browser, and so on. The Tab S also supports up to eight individual user profiles, so an entire family can use the Tab S, each with his or her own individual settings, apps, and files.
Samsung trotted out a number of media companies, including Conde Nast, National Geographic, and Marvel, all of which have created exclusive content for the Galaxy Tab S. For example, Galaxy Tab S users will be able to access over 15,000 Marvel Comics through three months of unlimited free membership to the Marvel Unlimited app. Samsung also created its own magazine service called Papergarden. Papergarden is an optimized viewing environment for digital interactive magazines. Tab S owners will be able to view a wide range of magazines through the app.
Last, Samsung made sure the Tab S works well with the Galaxy S5. A new app called SideSync will allow the Tab S and GS5 to connect to one another instantly via Wi-Fi Direct. Once linked, the Tab S can be used to answer phone calls that come to the GS5. The tool also makes file sharing as easy as dragging them from one device to the other.
The Wi-Fi variant of the Tab S will reach stores in July. The 8.4-inch model costs $399 and the 10.5-inch model costs $499. These prices fall directly in line with those of the iPad Mini and iPad Air. Samsung didn't say how much the LTE models will cost. The LTE versions won't reach stores until later this year.
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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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