Thursday , October 19 2017

Samsung Galaxy Tab S – Launch Report; Australian hands-on with the 10.5-inch model

Galaxy-Tab-S-Launch-Header

Samsung hosted a number of journalists – including yours truly – for an overnight stay at Sydney’s QT Hotel last night for the local launch of the Galaxy Tab S series.

We got a bit of hands-on time with the 8.4- and 10.5-inch models in the demo area before dinner. The 8.4 inch is a portrait device with a weight that’s more or less the equivalent of Google’s current Nexus 7 device, while the 10.5-inch model tips the scales at 460 grams. Both tablets are just 6.6mm thin.

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Talking about the tablets in terms of numbers doesn’t actually do them justice. When you pick them up they’re surprisingly light relative to their sizes, and the weight is evenly distributed around the frame — they are actually a pleasure to hold.

Beyond the physical form factor, the Tab S screens are obviously the standout feature. Both models feature a high resolution 2560 x 1600 display, and Samsung’s brought its Super AMOLED screen technology from the Galaxy S5 to the Galaxy Tab S, and the results are pretty impressive. Colours are bright and vivid, and the viewing angles are amazing.

We got a look at some of the accessories for the 10.5-inch model. There’s a keyboard dock that allows the tablet to stand up in a groove, providing a near-full-size keyboard. There’s also a couple of covers providing various stand modes for the tablets and a varying amount of coverage.

There’s also a neat system for attaching these covers to the back of the tablet – they click into place with a couple of lugs, mean the covers are small and light with no unnecessary bulk needed to hold them in place.

We were loaned a pre-production model of the Galaxy Tab S 10.1 with 4G LTE for the night to get some hands-on time with the device in advance of proper retail review units in the coming weeks. Of course, I took mine out for a late night walk playing Ingress:

The 10.5-inch model isn’t really designed to be carried around while you’re out and about – the landscape layout lends itself better to sitting on the couch watching video or reading, and I was constantly hitting the multitask button. The 8.4-inch model has a portrait layout that might make it a little easier to use while out and about.

Comics, however, look amazing on the 10.5’s screen:

As announced last night Galaxy Tab S will be coming to Australia in its 8.4- and 10.1-inch form factors on July 14. Prices start at $479 for the 8.4-inch model and $599 for the 10.1, in Wifi-only, 16GB configurations.

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We’re looking forward to getting our hands on the finished hardware for a full review.

Are you interested in the Galaxy Tab S series? Will you go for the 8.4- or 10.5-inch model? Tell us in the comments!

 

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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8 Comments on "Samsung Galaxy Tab S – Launch Report; Australian hands-on with the 10.5-inch model"

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charlzy
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charlzy

Can you add a dongle for internet connection?

JT...
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JT...

Do you know if the 4G version will have the capability to make/take calls?

JT...
Valued Guest
JT...

Just got a call from Samsung estore saying that they don’t yet have stock of the Tab S 8.4 and wont have any till the 30th. They gave me a $50 store credit for the inconvenience.

JeniSkunk
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JeniSkunk

That Comixology page of The Transformers looks cool. 🙂 I still have all 4 issues of the original limited series by Marvel Comics from back in the mid 1980s.
When you were running Ingress on the 10.1, how accurate did the GPS seem on it?
If Samsung do a 32Gb 4G version, that has a GPE ROM officially made, that would definitely be worth looking at getting. But if all they do is a 16Gb 4G TouchWiz, then no.

Jason Murray
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Jason Murray

GPS seemed accurate enough. I was in the CBD with tall buildings around and walking under shelter which blocked GPS signal a lot.

Seems unlikely there’d be a GPE version of these tablets.

JeniSkunk
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JeniSkunk

Thanks Jason.
Without the possibility of GPE for them, looks like this latest gen of Samsung Tabs are staying off my shopping list.

Phill Edwards
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Phill Edwards

I thought Samsung were reducing the Touchwizziness of newer models? Jason any comment based on what you’ve seen so far?

Jason Murray
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Jason Murray

I don’t think the rumours about reducing Touchwizziness have been borne out by the deep changes Samsung’s been making to things like the launcher, settings panel and notification shade, etc. These tablets run Samsung’s Android through and through.

The thing is, nobody’s ever really been able to make a genuinely successful 10-inch Android tablet, so it’s kind of a no-mans-land. If Samsung can make a go of it with all their software customisations then OK…

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