Samsung announces Galaxy Tab S tablets with OLED displays

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A new line of Samsung OLED tablets has long been rumored as an upgrade to the OEM’s current offerings, and it is finally now official. The Galaxy Tab S lineup, with the name we first heard of about a month ago, has been unveiled by the South Korean manufacturer. The 8.4 and 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S tablets have just arrived at an event at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The tablets are only 6.6-mm thin, which is impressive for devices of this caliber. Galaxy Tab S is significant, as Samsung’s “thinnest tablet ever.” The crown for Samsung’s lightest tablet ever is also stolen by this lineup, 465 294. Tab S is also “guaranteed to turn heads wherever you go,” said to tout the tablet’s design — the bezel is Samsung’s smallest ever on a tablet, and the company looks to be proud of the design on this product.

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Let’s talk specs for a quick second. The processor, depending on variant, is either a Samsung Exynos 5 Octa at (1.9 GHz quad-core + 1.3 GHz quad-core) or a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 at 2.3 GHz. 3GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage (with microSD expansion capabilities), an 8MP rear-firing camera (with a 2.1MP front-facing backup), and more are packed within the devices.

Moving to connectivity, Samsung’s Download Booster feature (using data and WiFi connectivity at once to speed up downloads and uploads) and the 802.11ac MIMO WiFi standard are included.

Samsung has included a fingerprint scanner in the Tab S, which is even more useful on a tablet. Using different fingerprints can launch different user accounts, which is useful for a household (up to 8 people can have their own home screen, apps, and private mode). Fingerprint detection is also integrated with Samsung’s KNOX security platform.

The tablets are available in two colors: Titanium Bronze, and Dazzling White. Accessories include the Book Cover and Simple Cover, which come in White, Bronze, Blue, Ivory, Red, and Black colors. A Bluetooth Keyboard accessory has also been announced for both screen size variants, said to complement the design of the Tab S lineup well.

tab-s-84-brown-smallThe global Tab S variant offers a SIM card slot, allowing you to make phone calls and send text messages. Who would want to use this, we don’t know, but hey — it’s there.

Samsung is touting the displays that are “innovative, and “immerse and captivate.” The “ultimate viewing experience” can be found on the tablets, with displays at a WQXGA Super AMOLED (OLED) display. This is a resolution of 2560×1600. It’s important that these displays are OLED and not LCD, making the viewing experience a lot better and the screens themselves thinner. A wider color range, deep contrast, proprietary adaptive display tech from Samsung (changing display settings for a variety of different situations, such as e-book reading), and outdoor visibility benefits are all found on the Tab S range, says Samsung. The mDNIe display feature has been carried over from Samsung TVs. Even with this super high resolution display, you can allegedly watch 11 hours of 1080p video content on a single full charge.

Samsung has announced a feature called Sidesync 3.0 allowing phone calls to stream into your tablet, and Remote PC features allow accessing your PC from anywhere. Papergarden has been announced as a Samsung magazine service. Milk Music is also present on the device, along with Samsung WatchON for a better TV-watching experience.

Netflix (with full 1080p playback support), Flipboard, and Google have partnered with Samsung to provide a better software experience for the Galaxy Tab S tablets. Other software features, which have seen a huge emphasis, include Kids Mode (allowing kids to safely use Galaxy Tab S products without messing with owner files).

Samsung Content Home brings all the content you’d want at any time to your home screen, in a magazine format. A new briefing widget as part of Content Home will let you know what you want, just when you need it. Samsung Papergarden offers a “variety of content optimized for Tab S,” for the 16:10 aspect ratio.

tab-s-infographicCondé Nast has also teamed up with Samsung to be a part of Papergarden, with its brands like Vogue and Vanity Fair to be found on the tablets. National Geographic has also cut a similar deal with Samsung, bringing its monthly magazine to Papergarden with interactive content (just as Condé Nast has done with its brands). Marvel has also been announced as a partner, with Jarvis making a surprise guest appearance at the press conference. Avengers: Age of Ultron will feature Samsung products, which screams product placement. The company will also provide exclusive content for Tab S owners.

Moving back to Sidesync 3.0, a briefing widget, call forwarding, and file transfer between your phone and tablet (without a data cable) all now work. Tab S users in the same room using an e-meeting app can work collaboratively, which is neat. Samsung Quick Connect is also included.

The Tab S will come with the Galaxy Gifts widget, with tons more Samsung partnerships. You can get free $20 in-game credits in Asphalt 8, a free three-month subscription to Marvel Unlimited, and a free six-month subscription to another magazine. Galaxy Essentials is also around for exclusive Samsung apps — Samsung has partnered with Google Play to provide a 90-day free trial to Google Play Music All Access, and a number of top-selling books and magazines for free. The Gravity movie is also free thanks to this partnership.

Both sizes are to be available in WiFi-only models in the US starting this July, with the 8.4-inch model at a suggested retail price of $399, and the 10.5-inch model at $499. The LTE model will follow soon afterward. If we learn of additional carrier availability info, we will be sure to update this post.

Update: Give this post a read to learn more about pre-order and availability info.

Sources: Samsung 1, 2, 3, 4

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Rithvik Rao