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10.5” and 8.4” Samsung Galaxy Tab S Tablets are Solid Tablet Products

All I can say is wow!

A fourth product WAS NOT on the cards for me when I got conscripted to attend the Samsung Launch Event that was held at their Samsung Experience Store  in Tropical Plaza in Half-Way-Tree on Thursday October 16th 2014, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Style as faithfully recorded in Samsung Launches quartet of Note-worthy Products to Tab into the Gear S Alpha in all Jamaicans!

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And yet here I was face to face with Apple’s iPad’s nemesis, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S times two whose parent, the Samsung Galaxy Tablet, was originally launched at the IFA Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin, Germany on September 2010 as per my ditty of an article Samsung Galaxy – Apple iPad’s contender for the Christmas.

I say this as it was not one but two (2) separate Tablets that were being launched alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the Samsung Galaxy Gear S smartwatch and the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone. Truly magnificent products, they deserve their own Launch Event!

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Thankfully, the pair of Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablets, one 10.5”and the other an 8.4” Tablet are both Brothers from Samsung Mother that describing them in yet another article is a pleasure.

Dear Reader shall we! As these Tablets remind me of Ultron…..No Strings on Me!

Samsung Galaxy S Tab – Samsung’s Contender Heavyweight against the Apple iPad Air 2 and the Apple iPad Mini 3

By now you’ve heard about the 9.7” Apple iPad Air 2 and the 7.9” Apple iPad Mini 3 and how thin and featherweight light Apple’s latest toy weighs. Well, I’ve got news for you folks; the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet is comparable in its class, with dimensions of 247.3 x 177.3 x 6.6mm (9.74 x 6.9 x 0.26 in) and weighing in at 495g (17.46 oz).

Its little brother, the 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet, has dimensions of 125.6 x 212.8 x 6.6mm (4.95 x 8.38 x 0.26 in) that tips the scales at 295g (10.41 oz) and is more likely to be a contender against the Apple iPad Mini 3.

Both are a little thicker than the supermodel waist-thin Apple iPad Air 2 which is 240 x 169.5 x 6.1 mm (9.45 x 6.67 x 0.24 in) that weighs 437g (15.06 oz) with the Wi-Fi only Option and 444 g (15.41 oz) with the Wi-Fi plus 4G LTE Option. That’s thinner and lighter than the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet.

Interestingly the Apple iPad Mini 3, which sports dimensions of 200 x 134.7 x 7.5 mm (7.87 x 5.30 x 0.30 in) and weighs 331g (11.66 oz) with the Wi-Fi option and 341g (11.68 oz) with the Wi-Fi plus 4G LTE option, manages to be lighter than the 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab albeit it’s thicker than the 8.4”Samsung Galaxy S Tab.

Dear reader I hope you’re following, as the weight and feel of a Tablet makes a huge difference on the degree of comfort of the product during long terms use. Just as the Samsung Galaxy Gear S smartwatch feels a little too heavy on the wrist as noted in my article Samsung’s Galaxy Gear S Smartwatch coming to Jamaica while reppin’ for Tizen, the weight of the Tablet, which I personally tested single-handedly, has to be light enough to do one-handed walking or cradling in your arm without making your wrists and arms tired.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S – Samsung makes Plastic look solid sporting a dimpled back

In term of design, the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet isn’t made of aluminum alloy like the Apple iPad but instead is made of a hardened plastic material. It has a dimpled back like the Samsung Galaxy S5, with the dimples on this model looking a lot more spaced out than before.

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Then there is the usual trio of Buttons on the bottom bezel, with the Home Button, and the pair of Capacitive Back and Recent Button on either side. They are small and accurate and unlikely to trip if your finger accidentally brushes during a popcorn thriller of a movie on your 10” screen.

At the top is the Power Button, Volume rocker and IR Blaster with the Speakers on the left or Right. The microSD Card Slot and micro-USB port are located on the right side of the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet and the headphone jack sits by its lonesome on the left. The Home Button has a built-in Fingerprint Reader and the bezel is super thin, so you’d best be investing in a Case to protect your screen real-estate.

Its brother, the 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet was apparently made by the same design team that worked on the Samsung Galaxy S5 as it also has the same dimpled back like its older brother as well. Again, great rubberized grip; still not trusting this thing with my hands slipper and wet, so I’d recommend a case straight off the bat.

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This isn’t plastic though; it’s an all metal deal, the second time I’ve come across Samsung not being cheap with metal other than the silvery band around the 4.7” Samsung Galaxy Alpha as detailed in US$974 Samsung Galaxy Alpha’s Metallic Band as Wearables will shrink 5-inch smartphones.

As I’d pointed out above, it’s thinner than the Apple iPad Mini 3 albeit the Mini 3 manages somehow to be lighter, possibly having a more compact battery. The 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet manages to have a more slender profile that’s pocket-worthy, but I’d not recommend that, pointing you directly to a Samsung Accessory Case!

The Volume, Power Buttons and 3.5mm headphone jack are recessed into the sides with the Micro-USB port and microSD Card Slot hidden under a little flap on the side. The Home Button and its companion pair of Capacitive Back and Recent Button on either side are a tad more sensitive than those on the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet, being a bit more accidental-press sensitive than those on the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet.

So no, the diminutive 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet isn’t for the movies. Either that or just don’t accidentally glance the screen or you’ll have to start all over again.

Samsung Galaxy S Tab – Display is everything with a Tablet and these are great for the Movies

The Screen on the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet and the 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet are both Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with resolutions of 2560 x 1600 with a pixel density of 288 ppi and 1600 x 2560 with a pixel density of 359 ppi respectively. In plain English almost crisp, paper-like rendering of images, making them great for still picture viewing and other high resolution 1080p Graphics. And yes, both Tablets support a rich palette of 16 million colours you may not all use at once.

Videos on both Tablets look fairly ok with no lag or frame retention. I’d have really been impressed if I had gotten the chance to play a couple games on these little devils. After, all, that’s the other main thing Tablets are great for; playing Casual and Console-based Video Games.

Both the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet and the 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet are running Google Android 4.4.2 aka KitKat with the Samsung TouchWiz UI we’re all come to know and love, even if it’s a little boring. You can always switch up the wallpaper if you like, of course!

The Processor in both Tablets is either a Quad-Core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 or a Quad-Core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 on an Exynos 5 Octa 5420 CPU Chipset. Surprisingly, both come with 3GB RAM that with 16GB or 32GB Internal Memory that can be expanded via the MicroUSB Port that support a 128GB SD Card.

Internally, they both have the same features you’d expect for a Tablet of this caliber and build quality:

  • Accelerometer
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • Gyroscope
  • Hall Sensor
  • Light and Colour Sensor
  • Magnetometer or compass

It’s also got a Multi-user Mode, meaning different user profiles, including a Kid’s Mode, a lot like a Microsoft Windows Computer. Apps are all available from the Google Pay Store or from Google Galaxy Apps store as detailed in as noted in Kelroy’s article Samsung Electronics Launches Samsung GALAXY Apps.

Wait….what!?

How does a Tablet get MicroUSB Port that support a 128GB SD Card, yet the 5.7” Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which is a phablet and technically a mini Tablet in its own right, doesn’t have a MicroUSB Port that support a 128GB SD Card as noted in my article US$1089 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a flatteringly fabulous Phablet with an improved S Pen?

Still, that’s something for Samsung to consider, unless Samsung plans to introduce Cloud Storage and are deliberately holding back on the Storage option for that reason or reasons related to final cost.

Samsung Galaxy S Tab – Cameras are equally matched in Picture Performance but Battery Life isn’t great

Both the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet and the 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet have a Rear-Facing 8 Megapixel Camera with Flash and a Front-Facing Selfie-friendly 2.1 Megapixel Camera like the 4.7” Samsung Galaxy Alpha as noted in US$974 Samsung Galaxy Alpha’s Metallic Band as Wearables will shrink 5-inch smartphones.

Both Cameras are capable of taking Full 1080p HD Images and video, with Recording and playback at 30 fps. Videos are encoded in one of several formats:

  • H.263
  • H.264AC)
  • MPEG4
  • VC-1
  • VP8
  • WM7
  • WM8

Both record sound in MP3, AAC, WMA and FLAC! Quite a Spread for a Tablet! I wish I could say the same for the Battery life, a point at which both the 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet and the 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet diverge.

The 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet has a 7,900 mAh Battery while the 8.4″ Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet has a 4,900 mAh Li-Ion Battery. Translation: 11 hours of multimedia i.e. video and Music recording and playback. The 10.5” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet has a standby time of 112 hours whereas the 8.4” Samsung Galaxy S Tab Tablet has a standby time of 80 hours, most likely because they have smaller batteries.

Still, it’s Ultra Power Saving Mode to the rescue, guaranteeing you twenty four (24) more hours to live to see a Charging Port by going Greyscale, that is, if you REALLY wanna be using your Tablet in Greyscale! When that Tablet Duet launches on Friday October 24th 2014, they’ll cost a pretty penny:

  • US$652 (JA$73,000) 10.5″ Samsung Galaxy S Tab 10.5 Tablet
  • US$526 (JA$59,000) 8.4″ Samsung Galaxy S Tab 8.4 Tablet

As these are Wi-Fi only versions, they won’t be supported by a Telecom Provider, so you’re on your own when it comes to buying either Tablet. Still, if you love playing Games and watching movies on a mini HDTV, then these will fit the bill as they are both No. 1 Stunners for a Private Night at the Movies.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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