After a brief period of leaks and rumors, Samsung has finally made official the Galaxy Tab S2. The second in its rather new Galaxy Tab S line, these new Android slabs boast of the same things that made the first one noteworthy, specifically the slim profiles and high quality display. Somewhat strangely, though Samsung has further slimmed down the Galaxy Tab S2 to be more handy, it has seemingly also reduced the pixel resolution, which might disappoint a few of the fans of the first generation.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S made headlines last year because of its premium design, in contrast to Samsung’s less high-end tablets. Bearing the same “S” name, this line was, in essence, the flagship of tablets just as the Galaxy S series was for smartphones. Now more than a year later, Samsung is putting the highlight on a new batch, though some changes might not sit well with some users.
The most visible changes are in the sizes. The original Galaxy Tab S came in 10.5 and 8.4 inch sizes, more in line with the manufacturer’s preference for widescreen form factors. This time, however, the two tablets come in 9.7 and 8.0 inches and with an aspect ratio that makes them more square-ish, something that Apple fans will probably eagerly point out. They are also slimmer and lighter than their predecessors. Both are only 5.6 mm thin, versus the previous 6.6 mm. The 9.7-inch model weighs only 392 g (versus 467 g on last year’s 10.5) while the 8.0-inch version is 272 g (versus 298 g on the 8.4 last year). Sadly, that’s not the only thing that went down. Instead of the widescreen 2560×1600 WQXGA from last year’s tablets, these new ones are a few pixels short, with only 2048×1536 QXGA, owing to the the squarer aspect ratio.
Strangely, the insides have seemingly changed very little. The CPU is still clocked at four 1.9 GHz cores and four 1.3 GHz cores. We can only hope that these are 64-bit versions of the CPU from last year, probably the Exynos 5433. The RAM, however, might prove otherwise, as it is still the same 3 GB. At least storage options are doubled, now at 32 and 64 GB. One key change: a microSD card slot! Cameras are also the same the same 8 megapixels on the back and 2.1 megapixels on the front. Fortunately, that also means that most of the features are similar, including the presence of a fingerprint scanner. Fortunately, this one comes with Android 5.0 out of the box.
It is almost disappointing to see Samsung put out a “flagship” tablet that is practically almost similar to its predecessor, albeit more portable and “holdable”, though the microSD card support is definitely welcome. We’ll have to wait in August to see how the market will perceive these two.