Samsung has always had plenty of Tablets on the market. It’s part of their strategy to have a lot of choices and you know what? It seems to work for them. First came the Galaxy Tab, then the line up bifurcated into the Tab and the Note which then added the Note Pro and now, their newest; the Tab S. It’s very similar to the Tab Pro line but with 3GB of RAM, a fingerprint reader and a Super AMOLED display. It comes in 2 sizes: a 10.5” model and the 8.4” which we’re looking at today.
The Tab S 8.4 comes equipped with a 4900mAh battery, 3GB RAM, 16GB internal storage with 11.5GB available to the user, MicroSD slot, a 2560x1600 resolution Super AMOLED display, an Octa-core Exynos 5420 CPU and the same thumbprint reader found on the Galaxy S5.
In case you’re trying to decide between the Tab Pro, Note 2014/Note Pro and Tab S here’s a quick cheat sheet
- 8.0”, 10.1” 12.2” with 2560x1600 resolution displays
- 2GB RAM
Note 2014/Note Pro:
- 10.1” (Note 2014), 12.2” (Note Pro) with 2560x1600 resolution displays
- Compatible with Samsung S-Pen stylus
- 3GB RAM
- 8.4”, 10.5” with 2560x1600 resolution displays
- Super AMOLED display
- Fingerprint reader
- smaller batteries but longer battery life (claimed)
The Super AMOLED display is what sets the Tab S from its counterparts and indeed, all other tablets. There is very little off-angle color shift. Text is sharp, and images are very crisp. The only problem is that the colour is heavily oversaturated as is often present with Samsung AMOLED displays. Reds in particular look really obnoxious and glow like they’re radioactive even when the saturation is dialed down.
Reading, photo viewing, and video are for the most part, a very pleasant experience. Some web pages occasionally load at native resolution so everything is really small. When that happens you’ll have to zoom in, so that fonts are a legible size.
I’ve taken some benchmarks from the usual suspects below. It holds up well and performance shouldn’t be a concern even with the high res display. I noticed no lag or stutter in the time I spent with it. Even gaming held up well to some of the more modern 3D titles I taxed it with. This shouldn’t be a concern.
The Tab S has stereo speakers located to right on the top and bottom of the tablet. Considering that they’re stereo I would have prefered if they were louder and had better sound quality.
As expected, the Tab S being a Samsung device comes with their Touchwiz user overlay. Multi-window is present, multitasking is very fluid and going from one app to the next is seamless without a hint of stutter. Pressing the capacitive task switch button gives you a task list with running apps along the bottom. You can scroll left to right and select the app you’re looking for or slide it up or down if you want to remove it from the running app list.
Multi-window was also seamless. I won’t debate it’s usefulness. I’ll leave that to you to decide it’s value, and just say it works as advertised.