If you feel Samsung’s smartphone portfolio is getting awfully crowded and confusing again, especially in the mid-range market segment, chances are you’ve stopped trying to understand or care about the company’s many similar and forgettable tablets.
Last year’s Galaxy Tab S2 dyad remains the cream of the crop, either in original or slightly rehashed 2016 form. That much is clear, but if you add the non-flagship Galaxy Tab A and Tab E families in the mix, headaches seem unavoidable.
Luckily, the latest Tab A release is a little more notable than that low-end Lollipop-powered 7-incher unveiled with little to no fanfare a couple of months back. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2016) still didn’t get a pompous introduction, quietly heading for Germany (and presumably, other European territories) in early June, starting at €290 ($330).
An extra 50 Euro (USD 56) will of course buy you 4G LTE connectivity, with the rest of the specifications staying the same. While not exactly a Tab S2 9.7 challenger in the screen resolution or RAM departments, the Tab A 10.1 promises to deliver respectable 1,920 x 1,200 pixels content, handling your multitasking rush with 2 gigs of memory.
The 1.6 GHz octa-core Exynos 7870 processor is borrowed from a phone, namely the Galaxy J7 (2016), which we’re not sure is a good thing, but Android 6.0 Marshmallow runs the software show, which is definitely nice.
Far from a featherweight, at 525 grams, the 10-incher packs a sizable 7,300 mAh battery, larger than the cell inside the Tab S2 9.7 by around 1,500 mAh. The 8 and 2MP cams are also pretty great, if you’re into tablet photography, and the 16GB internal storage can easily be expanded via microSD with an additional 200 gigs.
Aesthetically, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2016) doesn’t stand out in any way, with no metal frame, no patterns on the back, and no unusually slim bezels. Still, there’s something about this that could make it a hit… at $250 or so.