Samsung's latest flagship tablet, the Galaxy Tab S2, announced on July 20, puts innovation and usefulness above processor speeds and other techy concerns.
Samsung describes the new tablet – available in 9.7in and 8in formats – as the "most immersive" it's built to date. That might sound like hyperbole, but one thing is undeniable – regardless of which size you plump for when the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 goes on sale in August, you'll be taking delivery of the thinnest premium tablet on the market.
At just 5.6mm thick, it is 0.5mm thinner than the iPad Air 2 and is also lighter. The 9.7in version weighs in at 389g (the iPad Air 2 is 437g) while the smaller model tips the scales at just 265g.
Thinness and lightness on their own could be rejected as gimmicks, but the tablet market is maturing and as a result slowing down, and companies like Samsung and Apple are realising that in order to get consumers to upgrade, their new products have to be innovative.
Shipment figures from the first quarter of the year from Strategy Analytics show that ‘just' 51.9 million devices shipped globally, an 8% drop on the same period in 2014. More importantly, it's Apple and Samsung that have felt that fall the greatest.
In order to shake things up, Samsung has gone to a new 4:3 aspect ratio – (Apple's preferred ratio) rather than the widescreen 16:9 (perfect for watching movies) that it favours.
The squarer shape makes the tablets easier to hold, but more importantly, makes them better for every use other than simply watching films, such as toggling between apps (a new feature allowing apps to be displayed side-by-side debuts on these models), reading rich content – whether digital magazines or eBooks with fewer page-turns – and for productivity too.
The tablet in both sizes will come with Microsoft Office preloaded along with two years' free access to 100GB of Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage.
Other features that show that Samsung is really thinking about consumers' needs is the addition of a MicroSD card for the first time that can expand storage locally by as much as 128GB.
The devices also benefit from Samsung's Super AMOLED display technology although the pixel count is down slightly on the 2014 models they replace (that's due to changing the screen size) and there's a fingerprint scanner for added security and protection.
Samsung has yet to reveal pricing for either model but has confirmed that the new Galaxy Tab S2 will come with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage and as a WiFi only model as well as with 4G/LTE cellular connectivity. – AFP Relaxnews