Samsung releases competitors for the iPad and Surface as it hopes Galaxy brand will help it snare some of the business tablet market
Samsung says there is plenty of life yet in the premium tablet market and will release rivals for both the iPad and the Microsoft Surface later this year, hoping the power of its ecosystem can win over business years.
Tablet sales have been slowing, especially the inexpensive seven inch segment that fuelled the market’s initial boom, but Samsung said productivity and entertainment applications are what customer value the most and that is what it is focusing on.
“There is still strong demand and a growing market [for premium tablets and 2 in 1],” said Brandon Jung, global product planning manager at Samsung said at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. “What we found is that as long as a tablet can do [something] better than an alternative device, there is growth.”
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
The 9.7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the company’s new flagship tablet, while the Galaxy Book is a new Windows 10-powered 2 in 1. Samsung sees the inclusion of its smartphone innovations – internal and external – in both devices as instrumental to their success.
This is most obvious in the design. The Tab S3 features an “industry first” all-glass design, while the Galaxy Book claims to be the thinnest and lightest 2 in 1 available at 7.4mm for the 10.6 inch LCD variant and 8.9mm for the 12 inch AMOLED edition.
Both have 13 megapixel rear cameras and 5 megapixel front facing cameras, while the Tab 3 is powered by a Quad Core Snapdragon 820 processor and Android 7. It has 32GB of internal storage but this can be expanded by up to 256GB through a MicroSD card.
Samsung claims it is the first tablet to support HDR video playback and has an optional keyboard for a ‘PC like experience’. The company was also keen to emphasise the improve audio quality provided by two additional speakers from its partners at Harman.
Samsung Galaxy Book
But the Galaxy Book is the device it is clearly pitching to those who want true mobile productivity.
It’s powered by Intel’s seventh generation KabyLake processor (2.6GHz for the 10.6 inch and 3.1GHz for the 12 inch) to handle intensive multitasking and its keyboard is designed to be as similar as that of a conventional laptop as possible. It connects in a ‘snap on’ fashion like the Surface and can be positioned in a number of modes, depending on what the user is doing.
There are two USB-C ports, which can connect to monitors and other accessories, and there is fast charging.
Unlike the Surface Book PC, there’s no battery in the ‘Pogo’ keyboard, but Samsung is promising ten hour lifespan through ‘normal’ use.
“It’s not just PC class performance, people are looking for more versatile usage which is why they’re demanding 2 in 1 [devices],” claimed Jung.
Both support the refreshed ‘S Pen’, which now has no battery and has a special type of rubber as opposed to plastic – something which Samsung says should offer a more realistic writing experience.
“We are the pioneers of digital pen technology and we have the best in class [and] we’re expecting people to use S Pen for a longer period of time,” said Jung of the changes
Another feature is Samsung Flow, which lets users see their smartphone notifications on their PC and transfer files wirelessly through a direct connection. Users can reply to SMS messages, see missed calls and view third party messaging notifications from their Windows 10 machine or Android device. It’s even possible to automatically tether a mobile to a PC.