Samsung India has launched the recently unveiled Galaxy Tab S series of tablets in India, with availability of the two models scheduled for July 12 in its 3G variant, while the 4G LTE variant has also been promised. The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 has been given an MOP of Rs. 37,800, while the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 features a price tag of Rs. 44,800, with prices for the 3G, Exynos 5 Octa-powered variants.
The Galaxy Tab S series, featuring Super AMOLED displays, was launched last month at its ‘Tab into color’ event in New York. AMOLED stands for active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes, and such displays are already found in smartphones made by Samsung and a few other manufacturers. But until now, tablets haven’t used them because larger AMOLED screens are more difficult to produce.
The Galaxy Tab S tablets are being launched with a special introductory offer on Reliance, with 9GB of free data for three months, along with access to 1,000 movies through BigFlix.
Besides producing richer colours, AMOLED allows the Galaxy Tab S tablets to be thinner and use less power because screens typically don’t require backlighting. Samsung has the advantage of making its own screens, and the South Korean company can afford to reduce profit margins on tablets if that boosts volume and reduces costs on the screen-production business. What it learns from making tablet screens might even help it one day make affordable AMOLED television sets.
Samsung did release an AMOLED tablet in 2012, but it was expensive and didn’t sell well. The new ones will be priced more competitively. The Galaxy Tab S tablets are a quarter of an inch (6.6 millimeters) thick, which is thinner than iPads. The smaller version is also lighter than the iPad Mini, while the larger one is about the same as the iPad Air.
The new Galaxy Tab S tablets sport displays of 2,560 pixels by 1,600 pixels, matching what’s found in the Pro series. By comparison, Apple’s iPad Air is at 2,048 pixels by 1,536 pixels. Apple markets its displays as “Retina” and doesn’t believe more pixels will necessarily be discernible to the eye. Apple is expected to refresh its iPad lineup this fall.
Until now, iPad rivals have succeeded largely by undercutting Apple on price, and better hardware hasn’t been enough, said Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet and monitor research at IHS. AMOLED screens could change that, she said, because colors will pop out when compared side by side at a Walmart or a Best Buy.
The new tablets will also let people make calls when a Samsung phone is nearby and to unlock the device with a fingerprint. The tablets can support up to eight user profiles, so members of a household can get separate home screens simply by swiping their finger on the sensor.