Samsung doesn’t think tablets need to be thick and heavy, so it has produced the Galaxy Tab S2 range, two new Android tablets that measure only 5.6mm thick. One has a 9.7-inch screen and the other an 8-inch display, and they weigh 389 grams and 265 grams respectively. For comparison, the iPad Air 2 weighs 437 grams and measures 6.1mm thick.
Just because they’re thin and light, doesn’t mean they’re made of low quality plastic — these have metal frames. There is a hardware home button below the display, which also houses a fingerprint sensor. Regardless of the screen size you choose, the resolution is 2048 x 1536 and the panel is Super AMOLED, which Samsung says will “deliver 94-percent of natural skin tones to show true-to-life colors.” It also says the screen is optimized for reading books and magazines.
Both tablets use an octa-core Exynos processor — a combo package of a 1.9GHz quad-core chip and a second, 1.3GHz quad-core chip — and have 3GB of RAM each, plus there’s 32GB of internal storage space, and a MicroSD card slot for adding another 128GB. There’s a Wi-Fi version, plus the option of choosing a Tab S2 with an LTE modem inside. Even the camera setup is the same, with an 8-megapixel camera on the rear, and a 2.1-megapixel video call camera on the front.
The main difference is found not just in the screen size, but also in the battery. The bigger 9.7-inch Tab S2 has a 5870mAh cell, while the 8-inch version has a 4000mAh battery. Samsung hasn’t quoted standby times, but they may not vary drastically, as the differing power requirements of those two screen sizes may even things out. Finally, Android 5.0 is installed, along with various tweaks including split-screen multi-tasking, a pop-up app window, and Microsoft’s OneDrive and Office Solutions packages.
Samsung will release the Galaxy Tab S2 tablets globally starting in August, and will also sell accessories including a cover with a built-in keyboard and trackpad. However, the prices and exact launch dates haven’t been confirmed.