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Samsung launches 8.4" and 10.5" Super AMOLED Galaxy Tab S tablets

So there we have it - Samsung is finally putting AMOLEDs back in tablets. The Korean giant unveiled their two new tablets yesterday, both called Samsung Galaxy Tab S - one with a 8.4" display and the second with a larger 10.5" display. Both Super AMOLED displays offer the same resolution - WQXGA (2560x1600), which means 359 PPI for the 8.4" tablet and 287 for the 10.5" one.

Both the Tab S 8.4 and the Tab S 10.5 have the same hardware and software specification: Android 4.4, a 1.9 Ghz Octa-Core CPU (2.3Ghz quad-core in some markets), 8MP camera, 3GB of RAM and 16/32 GB storage and a micro SD slot. Both tablets are only 6.6 mm thick, and the 8.4 has a 4,900 mAh battery while the 10.5 one has a larger 7,900 mAh battery.

In their marketing material, Samsung mostly talk about the new displays - as they say this is the most important feature for consumers. The Super AMOLED display has a wide color gamut (90% Adobe RGB), a high contrast ratio (100,000:1), and Samsung uses their Adaptive Display software which intelligently adjusts gamma, saturation, and sharpness based on the application being viewed, the color temperature of the viewing environment and ambient lighting.

It seems that unlike the 2011 OLED Galaxy Tab 7.7, this time Samsung intends these tablets to be real mass market flagship devices. The 8.4" will launch in July for $399 (Wi-Fi), while the 10.5" one will be launched a bit later for $499 (Wi-Fi). LTE models will also be launched later. These are exactly the same prices Apple is charging (according to their web site) for the iPad mini and iPad Air. Samsung's tablets offer larger displays though.

A market research firm expects Samsung to ship 10 million OLED tablets in 2014 - or about 14% of Samsung's total tablets sales (80 million). It seems that the company has even bigger plans for 2015, and according to some reports, Samsung is starting to construct a new AMOLED fab (estimated at over $3-5 billion) that will mostly produce panels for tablets and wearable devices, starting in 2015.

First impressions of these tablets are very positive. Engadget's Chris Velazco says that the display is great - colors appear richer and more vivid, blacks are deeper and more sumptuous, and whites come through very crisply. Chris says that if you put a Tab Pro (LCD) next to these OLED displays, the LCD screen looks lifeless and washed out. In direct sunlight, the AMOLED is still clear and vivid.


( Updated: 2014-06-16 )
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