Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
25th Jul 2014
Samsung has been the most successful tablet-maker from the Android camp. Especially in India, its Tab series has become synonymous for tablets. A few months ago, the company introduced two new models to the series — Tab S 10.5 and Tab S 8.4. Out of them, the Tab S 10.5 has landed in our office. What makes it unique is an AMOLED screen, which is seldom seen on a tablet. Priced at Rs 53,000 price tag, it has a tough task to fight-off Apple's iPad.
Samsung's signature tablet design hasn't changed much. You still get a dominant screen and rounded corners seen in the early GALAXY Tab line-up. However, things have got refined now. At 6.6 mm, the tablet is impressively slim. Plus, Samsung has done a great job keeping the Tab's footprint down by reducing the bezel size. In case, if you were wondering, the tablet's body is still plasticity.
The Korean brand has brought the signature perforated design to the Tab S 10.5. As opposed to the GALAXY S5 though, the pattern looks less odd on this device. The GALAXY Tab S 10.5 comes in White and Titanium Bronze. We received the Titanium Bronze unit, which looks unique and somewhat odd for a tablet. Especially, if you're planning to use it in the office.
Inside The Box
The 10.5-inch AMOLED display is one of the high-points of this tablet. It's the largest AMOLED screen I've had my hands-on. The screen packs in 1560x1600 pixels, which translates to the pixel density of around 290 ppi. It may not look appealing on the paper, but the screen is very sharp. More importantly, the colour reproduction and contrast are amazing. You get exceptionally vibrant colours and deeper blacks on this screen. No other tablet in the market, not even the most expensive iPad matches the Tab S 10.5 's screen quality. This is due to the fact that AMOLEDs are emissive type screens. Unlike LCD panels, these displays don't require a back-light. So while displaying blacks, the pixels in that area are actually off. On the other hand, the blacks end-up looking greyish on the LCD panels due to the back-lighting.
The Indian version of the Tab S 10.5 is powered by an octa-core Exynos chipset (A15 1.9 GHz ＋ A7 1.3 GHz). It sports an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash and a 2.1 megapixel front-facing snapper for selfies. Other specs include 3 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage, microSD card slot, 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, Infrared port, fingerprint scanner, A-GPS, and 7900 mAh battery.
The tablet runs Android 4.4 (KitKat). As you'd expect from any GALAXY device, this one comes with TouchWiz UI. It's gaudy, overwhelming, and makes annoying "bloop" sound every time you touch the screen. To utilise the large screen, Samsung has added its Multi Window feature. I've never liked this feature on phones, but it does make sense on tablets.
Similar to the iPhone 5s, this tablet features a 'Fingerprint Scanner'. It's used for unlocking the phone and authorising app purchases. Unlike iPhone's TouchID where you have to place your finger on the sensor, the GALAXY S5's biometrics system requires you to swipe your finger on the sensor.
Navigating through the homescreen and menus is quite smooth. There's not much stutter to talk about. We will shed more light on the performance aspect of the tablet once we thoroughly test the device. Those interested in numbers, can find the synthetic benchmark results below:
In A Nutshell
The GALAXY Tab S 10.5 packs in a brilliant screen. probably the best one on any 10-incher. Considering the screen size, the Tab S 10.5 is quite compact and slim. To find out whether it's it's worth the Rs 50,000 price tag, keep an eye out for the comprehensive review.
Hands-On: Samsung GALAXY Tab S 10.5
It features one of the best screens found on a tablet.
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