Samsung unveils its thinnest tablets yet to take on the iPad Air 2

Samsung on Monday announced a next-generation Galaxy tablet to take on Apple’s iPad Air 2. The Galaxy Tab S2, driven by Android 5.0 Lollipop, is even thinner than Apple’s device: it measures an impressive 5.6mm thin and includes Samsung’s exceptionally bright and vivid Super AMOLED display in 7.9 and eight-inch flavors.

Impressively, Samsung has managed to reduce the thinness of its Galaxy Tab S2 tablets to less than that of the iPad Air 2. While Apple’s tablet is 6.1mm thin, Samsung’s tablet features a waistline of only 5.6mm. Unlike the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 though, the Galaxy tab S2 8.9 and 9.7 feature a metallic mid-frame only, with the front and back being made of plastic.

Under the hood, Samsung’s latest tablets are as powerful as the iPad Air 2 — if not faster. The tablets are powered by an octa-core Exynos processor clocked at 1.9GHz, sport 3GB RAM, 32/64GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot. The 9.7-inch Tab S2 comes with a 5,870mAh battery, while the smaller 8-inch tablet comes with a 4,000mAh battery.

The Exynos 5433 is actually comprised of four cores clocked at 1.9GHz that perform all the number crunching and an additional four CPU cores clocked at 1.3GHz, which are used for light tasks to conserve power.

On the software front, Samsung’s tablets are running on Android 5.0 Lollipop with the latest version of TouchWiz on top of it. To take advantage of the bigger screen, Samsung has included features like multi window multitasking, Pop up view, and more. These features will allow you to run multiple apps side by side or in windowed mode.

On paper, there is little denying that Samsung’s tablet is as impressive as the iPad Air 2, and superior to the iPad mini 3 in every way. However, despite having advantages in key areas especially in being able to run multiple apps at the same time, the tablets will never be able to surpass the iPad in terms of user experience due to the lack of quality tablet apps for the Android ecosystem.

As far as imaging goes, the new Tab has a rear-facing camera at eight megapixels and a 2.1-megapixel shooter out the front—again, just like the iPad Air 2. The device is available in two storage tiers—32GB and 64GB—but users can take advantage of a microSD card slot to increase storage to up to 128 gigabytes.

Connectivity features include built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, also known as Gigabit Wi-Fi, the latest Bluetooth 4.1 that Apple currently uses only in the new iPod touch and 2G/3G/4G LTE cellular connectivity.

Both new Tabs will be in stores in August, with yet-to-be-determined pricing.

Are they better than the iPad Air, do you think?


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