Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

iPad gets a real rival

Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is $400 for 16GB, $500 for 32GB. Tab S 10.5 is $500 for 16GB, $550 for 32GB.

AP

Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is $400 for 16GB, $500 for 32GB. Tab S 10.5 is $500 for 16GB, $550 for 32GB.

Samsung is taking another big swing at the tablet market with the launch this week of the Galaxy Tab S, just as many consumers are questioning whether they need a tablet at all.

The popularity of big-screened phones has slowed tablet sales growth. Meanwhile, the market for high-power, highly portable devices is about to get even tighter, thanks in part to super-portable computers such as the MacBook Air, Dell Ultrabook and Microsoft Surface.

That leaves the Galaxy Tab S in a tricky spot. Which is too bad, because in many ways this tablet, which comes with a 10.5-inch or 8.4-inch screen, is the best in its class.

There are few flaws in the design of the Galaxy Tab S, which sports the same dimpled polycarbonate back as the Galaxy S5. The most striking part of the tablet is its screen, which delivers the crisp, almost oversaturated images we've come to associate with Samsung screens.

In many ways, Samsung's smaller tablet actually outshines its iPad counterpart. It's lean, thin body is proportioned like a smartphone, which makes it easy for those who have Samsung smartphones to mirror their phone's display to the tablet. It also has proportions that are a little more palm-friendly than the iPad Mini. And it sports a fingerprint scanner that you can choose to use to unlock the device and authenticate purchases made over PayPal.

While the hardware is pretty good, on the software front, the Galaxy Tab S could use a little work.

Again, there are some standout features. For example, the Galaxy Tab S is compatible with Knox, Samsung's security software, which lets users separate their work data from their personal data. That should be a great selling point for business, and perhaps government offices, that are looking for devices that employees can tote with them. Users can also run multiple apps at once, offering multitasking options that Apple doesn't.

But for all the power in the tablet, the software still hiccuped when running multiple apps — something that's a bit disappointing given that it packs a very high-powered processor. (An Exynos 5 Octa chip, for those who want to know.) Still, the software problems aren't enough to outweigh the overall quality of the tablets.

iPad gets a real rival 07/08/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 6:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg's ballooning sewage debt could threaten credit rating (but there's a Hail Mary plan to avoid that)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city needs a lot of money — $435 million over the next five years — most of it to fix its leaky sewer pipes and aging sewer plants.

    In September 2016, signs at St. Petersburg's North Shore Park warned people to stay out of the water due to contamination from sewage released by the city's overwhelmed sewer system. The City Council on Thursday learned that the very expensive fix for its sewage woes could hamper the city's credit rating. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. Pinellas County receives $30 million for beach renourishment

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– While Pinellas beaches continually rank among the best in America, they need help to stay that way.

    The Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $30 million to help with beach renourishment at several Pinellas locations, including including Sand Key, Treasure Island and Upham Beach. This photo from 2014 shows how waves from high tides caused beach erosion at Sunset Beach near Mansions by the Sea condominium complex SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  3. Straz Center parking squeeze infuriates patrons, motivates search for solutions

    Transportation

    TAMPA — When the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts opened 30 years ago, it welcomed just 30,000 patrons its first year.

    Fireworks shoot into the sky over the David A. Straz Jr. Center For The Performing Arts. [SCOTT MCINTYRE, Times]
  4. Video shows naked man who stole swan sculpture in Lakeland, deputies say

    Crime

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office is searching for a large swan sculpture that was stolen from a Lakeland cold storage facility last weekend, possibly by a naked man.

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office says this naked man stole a large black and white swan sculpture, upper right, from a Lakeland storage facility last weekend. Surveillance video showed the man walking into Lakeland Cold Storage. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."