When was the last time anyone got excited when they were told that there’s a new Samsung tablet in the market? The Korean company has released several android tablets in recent months, in various sizes and little changes in specifications. But the new Galaxy Tab S series deserves some attention. We went hands on with the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and here are our first impressions. In case you prefer to read, rather than watch, then scroll a bit more.
The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 was announced in June this year, along with a smaller 8.4-inch version. Both the tablets have made their way to the Indian shores, and have few things to ask for your attention. The Galaxy Tab S series are directly competing with the iPad Air and iPad mini, both in terms of features and pricing.
At 6.6mm, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is thinner than the iPad Air and is next only to the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet in this regard. It weighs just around a pound (465g) and feels extremely comfortable to hold in one hand. Although, there is very little you can do with one hand on a 10.5-inch tablet, we felt very comfortable to hold it in both portrait (for reading) and landscape (for watching movies) modes.
The look and feel is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S5. In fact, it looks just like a bigger version of Galaxy S5. The dotted textured design has been retained, and that’s not something we are fond of to be honest. The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 comes in two colors – Dazzling White and Titanium Bronze.
The highlight though, is the display. This has to be the most gorgeous display I’ve ever seen on a tablet. The Super AMOLED screen makes a comeback on Samsung’s tablets, and this time we have a stunning resolution of 2560×1600 pixels. On the 10.5-inch version, that amounts to 281 pixels-per-inch. As always, the display is bright and vibrant, with great viewing angles and pretty good sunlight legibility. Colors look over saturated, but we aren’t complaining much here.
Samsung has ported the Fingerprint sensor technology to the Galaxy Tab S series. This worked pretty well in our initial tests, even better than our experience on the Galaxy S5 smartphone. The tablet is powered by the Exynos 5 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of internal storage and a microSD slot capable of expanding the storage up to 128GB.
On the smartphone front, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 comes with the near latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat pre-loaded, which is great, but then has Touchwiz on top of it. In the past few months, Samsung has added a lot of features to Touchwiz, which is probably why it has slowed down a lot. The looks too need a overhaul. On the Galaxy tab S series, there are some nifty features added which greatly enhances the experience. SideSync makes it appearance on tablets, and now you can control selected few Galaxy smartphones right from your tablet, which is cool and works great.
Overall, it’s clear that the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is meant to be used for multimedia purposes. Even Samsung’s TV ads indicate that. With a stunning 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen and dual-speaker, Samsung is pitching the Galaxy Tab S series as the best Android tablet to buy. It stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the iPad Air (and even betters it sometimes) in terms of hardware, but the core issues of tablet-optimized third-party apps remains. Be sure to check out our detailed review, which should be coming up early next week.