Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S: The reviews are in

June 13, 2014, 3:11 PM UTC
Photo: Technologizer

You’ve got to give Samsung credit. They are relentless.

In six months, they’ve thrown nine different tablets at the market created by Apple’s (AAPL) iPad. The ninth, unveiled Thursday night at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, is called the Galaxy Tab S.

The tech press posted its reactions overnight. A sampler:

Simon Rockman, The Register: S is for SMACKDOWN. “Samsung has raised the stakes in its battle against Apple’s ever-popular iPad with its newest range of Galaxy fondleslabs, which are both bigger and have higher screen resolutions than those of its fruity rival. The new Galaxy Tab S comes in 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch configurations, both of which are the thickness of a current iPad (6.6mm) and slimmer than previous Samsung slabs. The slimmest of the fondleslab lot, of course, is the Sony Xperia Z2 tablet at 6.4mm – but at this extreme it’s splitting hairs.”

Tim Moynihan, Wired: Samsung’s New Galaxy Tablets Are Razor-Thin and Razor-Sharp. “There’s no mystery as to which tablets they’re meant to compete with. In terms of weight, screen size, pixel density, and slimness, the new tablets compare favorably to Apple’s iPad Air and iPad Mini. The new tablets are also priced the same as Apple’s 16GB/Wi-Fi models of each version: $500 for the 10.5-incher and $400 for the 8.4-incher. At one pound, the larger Tab S weighs the same as the smaller-screened iPad Air, while the smaller Tab S (10 oz.) is both lighter and larger-screened than the iPad Mini (11.6 oz.).

Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider: Samsung debuts Galaxy Tab S. “The star of the show is the 2,560-by-1,600 pixel Super AMOLED display Samsung managed to squeeze into the slim chassis, which comes in at around 0.25 inches or 6.6 millimeters thin. The company claims the screen produces deeper blacks and more vibrant colors than the LCDs used in previous Galaxy tablets. A fingerprint scanner is also included, though it appears the component is similar or identical to the unit used in the Galaxy S5. Also similar is a plastic rear shell, though the material choice reportedly cuts down on in-the-hand weight.”

Dan Seifert, The Verge: Samsung’s razor-thin Galaxy Tab S takes another run at the iPad. “Between the Galaxy Tab 4 line, Galaxy TabPro and NotePro lines, the Galaxy Tab S line and other random tablets, Samsung has released at least nine tablets in just the first six months of this year, many of which have overlapping features and designs. Samsung says the Tab S line is its new flagship tablet product.”

Dawn Chmielewski, Re/Code: Samsung Unveils Lighter, Brighter Galaxy Tab S. “To add a dash of Hollywood… Marvel Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada announced a partnership between Disney-owned Marvel and Samsung which will provide Tab S users with a free, three-month trial of Marvel Unlimited, a digital comics service. Samsung’s products also will be featured in the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” film, due out in May 2015. The Galaxy Tab S also will offer access to Milk Music, a free (and commercial-free) Internet radio music service powered by Slacker.”

Mikael Ricknas, Computerworld: Samsung impresses with the light Galaxy Tab S 8.4. “I’m not easily impressed by tablets, so I haven’t been tempted to buy an upgrade for my (ancient-by-tech-standards) Nexus. But the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and 10.5 are definitely contenders… The problem for tablet manufacturers is that I am far from alone in either not wanting a new tablet or having a hard time deciding which one to get, which leads a lot of would-be buyers to stick with what they’ve got. Recently, the boffins at market research company IDC lowered the forecast for how many tablets people will buy this year.”

Harry McCracken, Technologizer: Samsung Does Everything in Its Power to Build a Great Android Tablet. “No matter how capably Samsung customizes Android, it can’t do anything about the most glaring weak spot of any competent Android tablet: the paucity of third-party apps designed to work well on a tablet. I happen to think that iOS has won the mobile app wars, but the selection of apps for Android smartphones, even if it’s in second place, is more than good enough. That’s not true for tablets: More than three years after Google first got serious about tablets with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, it’s not even the league next door to the league inhabited by the iPad, which now has more than a half-million apps designed especially for it.”