Good Gear Guide spent just under 24 hours with the 10.5in version of the Galaxy Tab S. The brief hands-on left us feeling confident Samsung has pushed its display, processing and multimedia expertise to the absolute current limit.
Elegant design, 10.5in centrepiece
Samsung's design language goes much further when the heft is kept to a minimum. Dimples line the back cover, shaved steel borders the sides and Corning Gorilla Glass coats the screen. This design language is an extension of that introduced on the Samsung Galaxy S5, but this tablet feels more crafted and less assembled.
The profile is spot on. The 10.5in Tab S is thin at 7mm, light at 465g, and yet it feels robust when held. This makes it thinner and lighter than the 8mm, 469g iPad Air, but fractionally larger and heavier than Sony's 6mm, 439g Xperia Z2 Tablet.
The centrepiece of the Tab S' technical wizardry is the screen. Talking shop when it comes to display technology might seem mundane, but drop the ball on the screen and it could come at the expense of the software experience. Get it right, however, and every part could be a little bit better.
A 2560x1600 resolution screen is trusted with the Tab S' Android 4.4 KitKat software. The Super AMOLED panel spans 10.5-inches, and combined these numbers add up to a dense 288 pixels-per-inch. The final number in this sublime display recipe is a contrast ratio of 100,000:1.
The Super AMOLED panel produces bright, punchy colours. Samsung claims the Tab S can reproduce ninety per cent of the colours in the UV spectrum and the performance of the Tab S' screen leads credence to the bold claim. Combine this illustrious take on colour with the aforementioned contrast ratio and the result is display as proficient in dark colours as it is in bright ones.
Here's the spark notes: the world's leading television company has endowed this tablet with its best 10.5 inch screen yet.
First tablet with a finger scanner
Apple may have brought back the finger scanner in smartphones first, but Samsung has beat it to the punch by when it comes to tablets. Enterprise professionals hell-bent on security will naturally gravitate towards the biometric-secure Tab S, but clever Samsung has managed to make the feature very appealing to the everyday household.
Up to eight user accounts can be configured on the Tab S, and each one can be enabled by the swipe of a finger. This safeguard each user's information and makes it really to log into individual accounts.
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