Samsung’s Tab S is stiff competition

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Samsung’s Tab S is stiff competition

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People try out Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Tab S at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, Thursday. Provided by the company

Samsung Electronics showcased its sleek, multiuse tablet PC Galaxy Tab S in New York on Thursday, as the company closes in on its smartphone archrival Apple in the market for bigger mobile devices.

The Tab S, which comes in two sizes, 8.4 inches and 10.5 inches, is the thinnest and lightest tablet PC made by Samsung. It is 6.6 millimeters thick, making it thinner than Apple’s iPad Mini and Air, which are 7.0 millimeters and 7.5 millimeters, respectively. Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, is 8.1 millimeters thick.

The 8.4-inch Tab S weighs 294 grams and the 10.5-inch model weighs 465 grams. Apple’s iPad Mini and iPad Air weigh 330 grams and 469 grams.

Samsung’s Tab S has an 8-megapixel rear camera a 2.1-megapixel front camera, 3 gigabytes of RAM and runs on the Android KitKat operating system. The battery power is 7,900 milliampere-hours (mAh) for a 10.5-inch tablet and 4,900 mAh for the 8.4-inch version.

Sales of the device will begin next month in selective markets. The 16-gigabyte, 8.4-inch Tab S will cost $399 in the United States and the 10.5-inch model will cost $499. Samsung’s premium tablet PC lineup, Note 10.1, cost $549.99 when it was released in the United States in October. The prices set for the Tab S in the Korean market were not disclosed.

The relatively low price of the Galaxy Tab S appears to reflect Samsung’s effort to catch up to Apple. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung shipped 12.8 million tablet PCs in the first quarter, accounting for 22.6 percent of tablets shipped worldwide in the period and breaking its previous record. Apple led the market, with 16.4 million tablets, or 28.9 percent.

Samsung has indicated that it wants to match Apple in the mobile device market by becoming more visible and creating products with diverse functions.

The Galaxy Tab S has a 2,560 by 1,600 pixel Super Amoled display, Samsung’s second tablet with Amoled after the Galaxy Tab 7.7 in 2011. The reduced manufacturing cost of Amoled displays and the growing demand among consumers for a brighter, clearer screen for multimedia use has led the company to return to Amoled.

“Tablets have become a popular personal viewing device for content, which makes the quality of the display a critical feature,” said Shin Jong-kyun, CEO and president of Samsung Electronics’ IT & Mobile Division. “With the launch of the Galaxy Tab S, Samsung is setting the bar higher for the entire mobile industry.”

Tab S also has SideSync function, which enables users to send an image, map or message as they make a phone call on the tablet PC. The user can make and receive calls with the Galaxy Tab S by syncing it with their Samsung smartphone with the call-forwarding feature.

Like the Galaxy S5, the Tab S has a built-in fingerprint scanner, with which the user can lock the device.

Galaxy Tab S appeals to a variety of consumers with ample multimedia content, including the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited app, which Samsung provided through a partnership with the U.S. graphic novel maker. The app will give the user access to over 15,000 Marvel Comics for three months.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]




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