Price (RRP): $599 (starting from, and review model): $599 - 16GB WiFi; $699 - 32GB WiFi; $749 - 16GB 4G WiFi;
Apple’s iPad Air may well be one of the best tablets around, but competitors are really starting to catch up. We saw Sony do some damage with it’s excellent Xperia Z2, and now it’s Samsung’s time to shine with the Galaxy Tab S.
More than just another tablet in its long running Galaxy Tab range, the Tab S is a reinvention with a screen that will make your eyes go wow.
The first of a new line of Tabs and not just another entry in the Galaxy Tab range — we’d be up to “5” if that were the case — the Galaxy Tab S brings with it a dose of high-end innards and marries it to a similarly high-end screen, all in the effort to produce a tablet you’d be proud to take with you.
Inside the Tab S in Australia, you’ll find one of Samsung’s combo processors, an eight-core chip made from two processors working together: a quad-core 1.3GHz and a quad-core 1.9GHz. This combination works in tandem with 3GB RAM and 16GB storage, the latter of which is upgradeable by way of a microSD slot on the side, capable of taking as much as 128GB of storage.
Google’s Android 4.4 “KitKat” is included here, too, with Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay installed.
Connection options in this tablet include 802.11a/b/g/n and 802.11ac, with Bluetooth 4.0 also here as well as GPS and infrared, though there is no Near-Field Communication (NFC) nor is there 4G LTE. Samsung does make a version with support for 4G, but that’s not in our review model.
Cameras are also included, with an 8 megapixel shooter with a flash on the back, and a 2 megapixel camera up front. Stills are of course an option, but video is here too, with Full HD’s 1920×1080 possible to capture on this tablet.
This technology sits under a screen measuring 10.5 inches diagonally, and running the higher than Full HD resolution of 2560×1600, technically sitting at around Quad HD and delivering a pixel count of 287 pixels per inch, higher than the Retina-grade display of the iPad Air, which sits at 264 pixels per inch.
While most Android devices are moving away from having buttons and letting Android’s touchscreen do all the heavy lifting, ion line with other Samsung devices, you’ll still see some, with the front panel showing soft buttons for multi-tasking and back flanking the home button in the middle, which also acts as a fingerprint reader.
The other physical buttons are on the top edge, with power and volume sitting next to each other.
Ports are few on this machine, with a 3.5mm jack on the top left edge, while the right edge has the microSD slot and the microUSB port.
Speakers are located on each side of the tablet as well.
The battery is rated for 7900mAh.