The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is a consumer-grade tablet which goes toe-to-toe with Apple’s iPad and iPad mini; enterprises would not be mistaken to opt for the vendor’s Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) and Galaxy NotePro 12.2 as a corporate mobility solution.
But nonetheless, Samsung is not wavering the business-to-business (B2B) opportunity presented by its soon-to-be-released flagship, and is relying on the product’s form factors, screen and software to drive enterprise sales.
The Galaxy Tab S has been built in 8.4- and 10.5-inch variants. Samsung Electronics Australia enterprise and SMB business solutions vice-president, Craig Gledhill, said the introduction of two form factors will boost resellers’ potential market reach by offering customers the more suitable screen size for specific vertical applications.
In particular, he expects the inclusion of a smaller flagship to generate interest from the likes of services and logistics organisations in which a single-hand form factor allows for standing documentation and management.
For security, Samsung has built the Galaxy Tab S with the same (not-always-reliable) fingerprint scanner first seen in the Galaxy S5 smartphone. The big differentiator here is that the tablet supports up to eight user profiles.
“If a workgroup wants to use one product, we can load up eight images which makes it more acceptable in industries where a device is related to a role, not an individual,” Gledhill said.
The Galaxy Tab S also supports Samsung for Enterprise (SAFE). SAFE is an enterprise software suite which offers encryption to the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync data access, and remote application management.
It also comes preloaded with Knox, Samsung’s Android security platform which protects corporate data at the hardware and application layers using Trusted Boot and TrustZone-based Integrity Measurement Architecture (TIMA). Uptake of Knox remains slow as the platform continues to undergo key trials with undisclosed organisations, although Samsung expects its deployment to accelerate once these reach completion.
The Galaxy Tab S model operates on an Exynos 5 Octa processor (1.9GHz quad-core and 1.3GHz quad-core) and 3GB of RAM, running Google’s Android 4.4 Kit Kat operating system. As always, Samsung’s TouchWiz software sits on top of Android, offering a range of borderline-bloatware apps which can often prove most useful when disabled.
Nonetheless, Samsung has taken the liberty of including two particularly useful features first introduced by the Galaxy S5: Ultra Power Saving Mode (which switches the device’s screen to black and white and shuts down all but six apps) and Download Booster (which simultaneously uses up to Wi-Fi 802.11ac and cellular 4G for higher download speeds).
Whether this is enough to compete with the likes of Lenovo’s recently-unveiled Windows 8.1-based business tablet, the ThinkPad 10, for example, is a different matter altogether.
Both the 8.4- and 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S models employ a 2560x1600-pixel resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. While the larger device offers an already-impressive 287.51 pixel-per-inch (ppi) density, the smaller version impresses with a huge 359.39 ppi count. But it is not all about pixels; after all, Samsung already delivered the same resolution with its aforementioned tablets.
The Galaxy Tab S’s key drawcard is the Super AMOLED technology; it provides unfiltered light for more accurate colours, and has the ability to turn off pixels in order to produce true blacks. Samsung said the Super AMOLED display allows tablet to cover 90 per cent of Adobe’s RGB colour spectrum, a 20 per cent increase on previous devices.
Gledhill said the screen-focused Galaxy Tab S allows partners to target verticals which place particular emphasis on image quality, including healthcare companies which rely on critical colour-based content during operations, and designers for obvious reasons.
Add to that the Samsung’s Adaptive Display Technology and the claim of a 40 per cent reduction in light reflectivity over an LCD screen, and the Galaxy Tab S can cater for outdoor deployments which involve spreadsheets and template work; whether it is useful for delivering predominately dark images in direct sunlight is a different matter.
Despite its features, the Galaxy Tab S is not a breadwinner on its own. As is becoming more and more the case with mobility hardware, the product relies on the expertise of resellers to become a meaningful venture.
“When you want to put a tablet like this into a corporate network, there is a lot of integration required, such as ensuring security is set up for all VPNs,” Gledhill said.
“That’s where our systems integrators (SIs) can help deliver the product as part of a solution. That’s where partners will make additional revenues and margins on top of the device.”
The Galaxy Tab S goes on sale in Australia on July 14, priced as follows:
- 8.4-inch – 16GB, Wi-Fi only - $479
- 8.4-inch – 16GB, Wi-Fi and 4G compatibility - $629
- 8.4-inch – 32GB, Wi-Fi only - $579
- 10.5-inch – 16GB, Wi-Fi only - $599
- 10.5-inch – 16GB, Wi-Fi and 4G compatibility - $749
- 10.5-inch – 32GB, Wi-Fi only - $699
A hands-on review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S can be found here.