Samsung refreshes Galaxy Tabs with improved displays

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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