Apple’s iPad Air has held the tablet benchmark for many for a good year, and while Sony’s Xperia Z2 Tablet has provided some good competition, Samsung is betting its new Tab S will attract even more eyes.
Whether you call it a content consumption or a content creation device, the tablet is one gadget Australians are falling in love with. Apple has more or less led this category since the iPad rocked up, and while companies did eventually find a way to match Apple, when the company produced the iPad Air, the game changed again.
Now, however, Samsung is ready with a product that it thinks can compete properly, providing a better screen, a thinner body, a lighter weight, and some neat features that it hopes can bring people over to the Samsung side.
From our hands-on, which is admittedly longer than most of the other hands-on time we have with other products, Samsung may have a winner here, because when you pick it up, the first thing you’ll notice is the thickness and the weight, or the lack of each.
Your hands don’t have a scale in them — unless you’re bionic, in which case they’ve built you better, stronger, and we apologise — but the Tab S is very comfy in the hands, weighing a few grams lighter than the iPad Air.
Interestingly, Sony’s Tablet Z2 beats both of them to the punch, coming in at 426 grams, which is lighter than the Air’s 478g and the Tab S with 467g, but it’s still impressive, all the same.
Even the thickness scores points, measuring 6.6mm compared to the iPad Air’s 7.5mm. Once again, it’s a wee bit thicker than Sony’s option, which measure 6.4mm and manages to pack in water-resistance, which both the Samsung and Apple lack, but we’re not here to talk positives on the Sony.
Rather, let’s talk about what the Samsung excels in, because one of these will shine at you to get your attention, doing so in a rather bright way.
We are, of course, talking about the screen, which is very clear and very bright on both the Tab S products. While the 10.5 inch 2560×1600 screen has a lovely look to it, displaying 287 pixels per inch close to the 291 pixels per inch of the Air, it’s the 8 inch Galaxy Tab S that really grabbed us, beating both the devices with an amazeballs 355 pixels per inch.
For those not aware of what these numbers mean, the amount of pixels per inch determines the clarity of the screen, with the higher number basically suggesting how many more pixels are packed in over a unit of measurement.
We’ve done the math in the past, and you can play with one of our interactive articles to see the difference between devices with low ppi counts versus those with high, but essentially, the bigger the ppi, the better the images and text will look, and the more your eyes will thank you.
The catch in all of this is our eyes which can, for the most part, only really see a maximum of 300 ppi, which is why the Apple Retina resolution is just over it. That said, higher can still look better, with more research around this very issue based on viewing distances, because the viewing distance of a 5 inch phone is very different from a 3.5 inch phone and a 10 inch tablet, and all of these are different again if your eyesight has issues.