I think we’re almost past the point where the average buyer even considers the “specifications” of a tablet before buying. Quad cores, dual cores, fancy processors – it’s all a bit much for the majority of buyers. What matters though is how it’s used, and how the device can assist the user. Samsung’s latest (in a long line of tablets) entry into this market is the Galaxy Tab S – EFTM took a good look at the device this week in Sydney.
At the Australian launch of the Galaxy Tab S we got pricing, availability and a good chance to really experience this device.
It’s thin, tick. (6.6mm profile)
It’s light, tick. (465grams for the 10.5 inch, 294grams for the 8.4inch)
It’s got a great screen – wait, that’s more than a tick – this screen is stunning, like nothing you’ve seen on a tablet before. Even on a moderate brightness setting your eyes are wondering how this is possible. Now of course those fancy coloured splash screens that are installed by default are designed to accentuate the brilliance of the colour, but leaving that aside it’s a bloody great screen.
It has some great software. Tick. And this is an area Android tablets always seem to push, mainly because it can be done, where as on an iOS device the best you’ll get is a cool new app to do something funky.
On the Galaxy Tab S we found three things that are impressive beyond the norm.
This is a simple split screen concept which means you can watch YouTube on one side while reading or updating Facebook on the other – as time goes on, we’ll see more and more of this, also making multi-app copy/paste and content sharing easier.
Have you got a Galaxy S5 phone? Keep that in your pocket, or in the other room. As long as both devices are on the same WiFi network, the Galaxy Tab S allows you to literally see the screen of your S5 phone on the screen of the Tab S. You can send text messages, answer calls, and even transfer files between the two devices. Very, very cool.
Your wife uses a whole range of different apps to you. Your kids use different apps, and you’ve probably got them arranged on pages, or in folders. With Multi-User mode you all get your own tablet – inside the one tablet. Just like on a PC, you can have user accounts, with each customised as they choose. Accounts can even be set to have restrictions on them like restricting mobile data access, limiting app access etc.
I absolutely love this feature – it’s a key selling point for families or couples. But, I’m sad to say from what I could tell Samsung have missed a simple opportunity here.
Kids Mode still exists, and we love Kids Mode here at EFTM – the Galaxy Tab Kids was our EFTM BEST for Kids award winner. However, you can’t set one of the user accounts to just launch into kids mode. Essentially that means for the youngest kids, mum or dad launch kids mode then hands it over. For the growing kids in primary school – they will get their own login which is restricted, but not quite kids mode. It’s still great, but a simple little tweak could have made it awesome.
Children as young as two are able to see a login, even click and swipe, so I say give them a user account and let them find the tablet, find their user account, swipe to login and hey presto – kids mode.
The accessories coming are excellent, a solid keyboard with a locking clasp to keep the tablet in place, and a very nice folio cover which actually clips into the tablet with buttons and gives a solid fit and cover.
Pre-orders will start from Monday July 7 at the Samsung Stores and online, and both the 10.5 and 8.4 inch models will be available on July 14.
Prices range from $479 up to $749 – interestingly, only the 16GB models are available with 4G.
- 8.4 inch WiFi Only 16GB – $479 RRP
- 8.4 inch WiFi + 4G 16GB – $629 RRP
- 8.4 inch WiFi Only 32GB – $579 RRP
- 10.5 inch WiFi Only 16GB $599 RRP
- 10.5 inch WiFi + 4G 16GB $699 RRP
- 10.5 inch WiFi Only 32GB $749 RRP
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.