Samsung has introduced the Galaxy Tab S, a tablet and new flagship device with which it said it is "proudly putting our flag in the ground."
That declaration of victory comes largely thanks to the Tab S's display. While Apple's iPads feature LED displays, the Tab S has a Super AMOLED—the same technology used on its Galaxy S5 and other market-leading smartphones. The display has a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600, or 4 million pixels total, which Samsung said is 30 percent more than the competition. (Read: Apple. The iPad Air has a resolution of 2,048 by 1,536.)
At a evening press event at Madison Square Garden in New York City June 12, Michael Abary, senior vice president of Samsung Electronics America, explained that LCDs can't emit light on their own and require layers of materials—glass, filters, liquid crystals and spacers—that block out of some of the light that can reach a user's eyes, as well as add thickness to a device. AMOLED, or active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, technology, however, is a emissive.
"So, there's nothing to block the light. It gives you unimpeded details," said Abary, showing side-by-side images—of black and white horses, a detail of a tiger's stripes—on LCD and AMOLED displays. "Every pixel is alive."
AMOLED is also 40 percent less reflective than LCD, "so it really excels when you're using it outdoors," Abary added, insisting that people have the right to a good tablet experience poolside.
The narrow width that the display's technology makes possible, again, enabled Samsung to create what it says is the thinnest tablet on the market. It's 6.4mm thin, which Abary likened to "about a stack of five credit cards ... and thinner than most smartphones."
Indeed, the Tab S is so thin, Samsung had to create a little lip around the microUSB 2.0 port, used for charging, which would seem to be the new area of limitation around just how thin a tablet can get.
The Tab S will come in 8.4- and 10-5-inch models (that's the screen size on the diagonal) and in white or gold—a slightly different, and many will likely say improved, shade than was used on the Galaxy S5.
Four Bragging Points
In addition to being thin and light, and having an unrivaled display, Samsung is focusing on two other points: security and seamless collaboration with other (ideally Samsung) devices.
The Tab S runs Samsung's Knox software out of the box; is Samsung Safe for the Enterprise- (SAFE-) certified; includes Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) Support, AES 256-bit encryption and VPN support; integrates with mobile device management software; and, again like the GS5, includes an on-screen fingerprint reader.