It’s been a little over six months since we reviewed Samsung’s latest attempt to take the iPad Air on, a product that arrived with a fair amount of fanfare and the expectation that someone had finally matched Apple’s iPad Air, with a sleek look, svelte design, and a screen that could bring excitement simply due to how bright and high resolution it was.
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S did bring a lot of interest to Android tablets, at least the high end ones, not just because it was a new take on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab range, but because it provided solid competition for not just Apple’s tablet, but one from Sony which sported a slim body and water-resistant design, the Xperia Tablet Z2.
Samsung’s Tab S was a different beast altogether, though, bringing a look that matched luxurious furniture, with a dimpled textured back, gold trim, and enough bells and whistles to make you realise that yes, you were buying another of Samsung’s high-end machines.
For starters, there was the screen, packing in a particularly impressive 10.6 inch Super AMOLED display sporting the resolution of 2560×1600. With these numbers put together, Samsung was essentially offering a tablet with 300 pixels per inch, higher quality than even Apple’s iPad Air, which carries a 2048×1536 resolution on a 9.7 inch screen, with the numbers coming out to 264 pixels per inch there.
Most of these are just numbers, and the real proof was in the use of the device, but Samsung did pretty well here, too.
As such, the screen was bright, clear, and very crisp, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t like what they saw. We were even more intrigued by the 8.4 inch model, which we’ve only briefly seen, and yet packed in the same resolution, essentially offering even more pixels per inch, hitting 360, one of the highest we’ve heard of on a tablet.
But the 10 inch is what we had, so we reviewed that.
And overall, it’s a decent little machine, offering a comfortably thin design, superb screen, and decent battery performance, with some loud speakers to boot.
Six months in, there are things about the Galaxy Tab S that still rock.
Things like the screen, which six months in is as lovely as it ever was, providing excellent viewing angles, crisp imagery, and colour that we wish was as rich on every display.
The design is also nice, and while we normally prefer metal bodies, the textured plastic back is easy to hold, even if we never quite got our hands on the specialty cases Samsung made for these tablets.