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Samsung Goes Lighter, Thinner With New Tablets

Seoul – The second generation of Samsung tablets incorporating Super-AMOLED displays will be the company’s thinnest and lightest 9.7- and 8-inch tablets when they launch globally in August, Samsung said.

They’re also promoted as the thinnest and lightest metal-frame tablets of their size on the market.

The Tab S2, due in 9.7- and 8-inch versions, will succeed the first-generation Tab S models launched about this time last year in 10.5- and 8.4-inch sizes. They were the industry’s first tablets with high-definition Super-AMOLED displays, promoted for their deep contrast, high brightness, wide color range and color accuracy for viewing HD video.

Prices of the new models were not disclosed.

The launches mark the first U.S. tablet introductions from Samsung in about nine months. The company last year introduced about nine new tablets, unveiling the first at 2014 CES, and followed up later in the year with two Galaxy 4 Tab Nook models designed for Barnes & Noble. The latest Nook was unveiled last October.

The new Tab S2 models, which will be available in Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi/LTE versions, are 0.22 inches deep compared to their predecessor’s 0.26 inches. The previous models were also the company’s thinnest tablets ever at the time of launch, thanks to their thin Super AMOLED displays. The Wi-Fi versions of the new models weigh 13.7 ounces and 9.4 ounces, respectively, compared to their predecessors’ 16.4 and 10.4 ounces.

The new models feature smaller screen sizes with less resolution than their predecessors (9.7- and 8.4-inch QXGA 2,048 by 1,536 compared to 10.5- and 8.4-inch WQXGA 2,560 by 1,600 16:10 displays). The new models also feature smaller batteries: 5,870mAh compared to 7,600mAh for the larger models and 4,000mAh compared to 4,900mAh for the smaller models.

New features include Android 5.0 Lollipop versus Android 4.4 KitKat OS and higher storage capacity with a choice of 32GB or 64GB versus the predecessors’16GB. Like before, a 128GB microSD Card slot is available.

Also new is video recording at QHD (2,560 by 1,440) at 30fps versus 1080p recording at 60fps. The new models also add playback of UHD 3,840 by 2,160 at 30fps versus 1080p playback.

The new models carry over many of the same performance specs as their predecessors, such as 3GB RAM, octacore processor (quad 1.9GHz plus quad 1.3GHz), 8- and 2.1-megapixel cameras, and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO. The new models also carry over a fingerprint sensor, which appeared in Samsung’s tablets for the first time with the Tab S launches last year. The sensor lets users secure files as well as let users share a table, each with their own home screen.

Another carryover feature is multitasking, allowing users to view and run two apps simultaneously.

Other S2 features include adaptive display to adjust gamma, saturation, and sharpness based on the application, the color temperature of the viewing environment, and ambient lighting. Reading Mode modifies the screen’s brightness level to help users to read content for longer periods of time without straining their eyes.

 The new models are preloaded with Microsoft Office Solutions productivity software and come with 100GB of OneDrive Cloud storage for two years for free. The tablets are also compatible with the optional keyboard cover, which features built-in trackpad.

The 16GB Wi-Fi versions of the previous models were priced at launch at $399 for the 8.4-inch model and $499 for the 10.5-inch. LTE models were launched by the four major carriers.