Samsung refreshes Galaxy Tabs with improved displays

— 9:37 AM on June 13, 2014

Samsung has refreshed its Galaxy Tab line of Android tablets with the Galaxy Tab S. Along with some mostly incremental improvements, the new tablet features a big upgrade that owners will see every day: a higher-resolution screen. 

The company has bestowed a 2560x1600 Super AMOLED display upon the Tab S, with the same resolution appearing on both the 8.4" and 10.5" versions of the device. The Galaxy Tab 4 made do with a 1280x800 panel, so the increased resolution represents a major leap in pixel density.

The Tab S 10.5.

Under the hood, both versions of the Tab S feature an Exynos 5 Octa SoC, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an expansion slot for microSD cards up to 128GB. The Tab S 8.4 is rated for up to 10 hours of battery life when browsing the web and up to 12 hours when watching video, while the Tab S 10.5 drops to nine hours for Internet usage.

As is typical with Galaxy devices, Samsung has added a number of software tweaks and pre-installed apps to the basic Android experience. The company claims that the Tab S is one of the few Android devices in the U.S. to offer Netflix HD streaming, a perk that should take full advantage of the new display. There's also a suite of parental controls, split-screen multitasking support, and a free year of Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi. Although many Android fans would probably prefer an unsullied device, the Tab S at least ships with the most current version of the operating system, 4.4 KitKat.

The new Galaxy Tab S will be available in July, with the 8.4" model starting at $399.99 and the 10.5" one at $499.99. Both tablets will come in white and "bronze" finishes.

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