With the launch of its latest Galaxy Tab S, Samsung has fired a clear shot over Apple’s bow in the tablet race.

The Tab S is a premium device aimed for the masses, and with its familiar interface and look and feel, the Tab S is designed to appeal to existing Samsung Galaxy phone owners, giving them a competitive, non-Apple tablet option. Samsung also believes that the Tab S is it’s best tablet ever.

Thin, stylish and light, the Galaxy Tab S has a svelt 6.6mm profile, and comes in 10.5 and 8.4 inch screen sizes. (The iPad Air is 7.5mm thick). The former weighs 465 grams, while the smaller model is just 294 grams.

The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 inch model

The jewel in the Tab S’s crown is its Super AMOLED screen, which has a ‘beyond HD’ resolution of  2560 x 1600 pixels. This means 287 pixels per inch (ppi) on the 10.5 inch screen and an incredibly fine 360ppi on the 8.4inch model.

Leveraging Samsung’s display expertise, the units we viewed were very bright, with amazing colour depth and image clarity. The colour gamut is very wide, which helps display even more detail in colourful scenes.

There was plenty of contrast in dark images too, and viewing angles were impressively wide. Super AMOLED is also better technology for outdoor visibility than conventional ‘filtered’ light from LED/LCD displays. This is certainly a screen you’d be happy to watch lengthly videos and movies on, or read a novel, wherever you are. It has set a new standard in tablet screen quality.

Super AMOLED technology uses less energy than conventional displays too, meaning that the Tab S can handle 11 hours of battery life while playing back a 1080p video.

The Tab S’s AMOLED display is adaptive, meaning that it will sense the environment you’re viewing the tablet in, and adjust gamma, saturation, sharpness and colour temperatures to provide a more optimised viewing experience. It can also optimise based on what you’re doing, so, for example, it will sharpen the text and reduce the background brightness when it senses that you’re reading an ebook under incandescent light to help reduce eyestrain.

There are also preset modes including AMOLED Cinema and AMOLED Photo for watching movies and previewing pics.

If you’re familiar with Samsung’s Galaxy S5 phones, you’ll certainly spot the resemblance with the Tab S. The styling is similar, including the ‘perforated’ rear textured design, and bevelled edges. There are two colour choices including titanium bronze and dazzling white, with rose gold accents in the metallic finish on the tablet’s edges.

There are special anchor points on the Tab S for securely attaching to cases.

Samsung has also created two small ‘dimples’, or ‘simple-clickers’ the back of the Tab S, which provide mounting points for the two different click-in cases.

These can be affixed by simply pressing the connecting parts together, and once locked, they are strong enough to support the tablet’s weight without separating.

The Tab S comes with plenty of innovative features that will likely appear on the next iPad.