New York — Samsung plans July availability of the world’s first two tablets with high-definition Super AMOLED displays, promoted for their deep contrast, high brightness, wide color range, and color accuracy for HD-viewing video.
The tablets are “optimized to deliver the ultimate viewing experience,” including magazine reading with interactive video features, said Michael Abary, senior VP of Samsung Electronics America, at a press event Thursday night at the Madison Square Garden theater. He said the displays deliver the picture quality of the company’s best TVs and “get closest to real-life colors” compared to other tablets.
The two Galaxy Tab S tablets feature 10.5- and 8.4-inch 16:10 displays with WQXGA 2,560 by 1,600 resolution and more than 4 million pixels. The tablets, which feature Android 4.4 OS, also feature seamless integration with Galaxy S5 smartphones and Windows computers.
The $499-suggested 10.5-inch Tab S and its smaller $399 8.4-inch counterpart will be available in July in Wi-Fi-only versions at Samsung.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Fry’s, Office Depot, Office Max, PC Richard & Son, Sears, TigerDirect and Walmart.com.
Later this year, each of the four national carriers will offer one or more LTE-equipped models, with Sprint and T-Mobile offering the 10.5-inch model and Verizon offering both sizes. AT&T didn’t specify whether it would offer both sizes or only one.
Both are available in white and Titanium Bronze with gold trim. Multiple color covers are also available to snap onto the tablets and fold to provide three tabletop viewing or typing angles. A 7.5mm-thick Bluetooth keyboard secures to the tablets with clasps.
The introductions bring to nine the number of tablets launched in the U.S. so far this year. The others ranged in size from 8.4 to 12.2 inches at prices from $399 to $849 UPP.
Samsung turned to Super AMOLED displays because the majority of tablet use involves movie and TV-show viewing, said Abary. For that reason, the tablets come with HD Netflix and HD YouTube apps.
Because of their Super AMOLED display technology, the two tablets are also the company’s thinnest tablets at 6.6mm in depth, and they’re Samsung’s lightest at 16.4 and 10.4 ounces, respectively.
They are also the company’s first tablets with a fingerprint scanner for security, enabling users to secure individual files. A fingerprint-scanning multiuser mode lets up to eight people share a tablet, each with their own homes screens and preferred apps displayed on the screens.
Seamless computer-to-smartphone and tablet-to-computer connectivity is available through Side Sync 3.0 technology, which enables consumers, to receive and place calls on the tablets via a Wi-Fi-connected Galaxy S5 smartphone in another room, send SMS and MMS messages from the tablet, and view caller ID information on the tablet when a call comes in to the phone. Samsung is the only tablet manufacturer to support voice calls on tablets, said Ryan Bidan, senior director of Samsung Telecommunications America.
Also with Side Sync, users can transfers files from the tablet to the phone by dragging and dropping a file from the tablet to an S5 image displayed on the tablet screen. The tablets also find files on a Windows PC and download them via Wi-Fi.
For video viewing, Super AMOLED technology is superior to LCD displays because emissive technology does not require backlighting, nor does it need other layers that add to thickness and block light, said Abary. Super AMOLED screens display direct colors rather than filtered colors, reveal 20 percent more color spectrum, offer 100-times better contrast ratio at 100,000:1 compared to LCD’s 1,000:1, and display true blacks because pixels can be turned off, he said. Because Super AMOLED displays require no backlighting like LCD displays, power consumption is reduced. Both models deliver 11 hours of 1080p playback time.
Also to improve the viewing experience, Samsung developed display technology that adapts to the type of content viewed, including video, web browsing, and e-book reading. The displays also automatically adjust white balance based on ambient light, and they deliver the best outdoor visibility of any tablet because of contrast enhancements and because they are 40 percent less reflective than LCD displays, Abary said.
Because they tablets appeal to content consumers, Samsung loaded the devices with a new Papergarden service to download magazines optimized for 16:10, exclusive Marvel content, and the movie “Gravity.”
They are also preloaded with limited-time subscriptions to such content as Marvel Unlimited, free books and magazines from Google Play, and a 90-day subscription to the Google Music streaming service. The tablets also access Samsung’s free and ad-free Milk music-streaming service in the U.S.
Other key features include Samsung octa-core CPUs (quad-core 1.9GHz plus quad-core 1.3GHz), 3GB RAM, 16GB embedded memory, 128GB MicroSD slot, 8- and 2.1-megapixel cameras, and 1080p playback at 60 fps.
Like the S5 smartphone, the tablets feature Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO and Download Booster technology, which joins Wi-Fi with LTE for faster downloads, with 1GB files downloading in 30 seconds.
The larger model features 7,900 mAh battery, and the smaller one comes with 4,900 mAh battery.