Galaxy Tab A with S Pen Let Down by Poor Screen

Samsung today announced the availability of the slim and sleek Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (8.0”) and Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (9.7”). These metal-chassis design tablets are slimmer and lighter than the previous Galaxy Tab 4. The S Pen feature is included, which if as good as the Galaxy Note, would be a useful feature on a large size tablet.

Pricing is also lower this time around. So what gives? Unfortunately, it is the screen and specifications. The screen is a 4:3 display ratio, similar to an iPad, which is a good design for reading and web browsing. However, the resolution is only 1024 x 768, which is the same resolution as the iPad 2, easily 4 or 5 generations ago. The specifications are also reduced, but adequate for mid-range tablets.

THe processor is a 1.2 quad core Snapdragon 410 64 bit processor, the same as the Redmi 2, and sports 2GB of RAM. It runs on Android 5.0.2 lollipop. Well, with the lower pixel count, the tablet should offer sufficient computing power and handle multitasking well. Even games would perform adequately due to the lower resolution requirements.

The Galaxy Tab A design takes cue from the metal-based Galaxy A-series phones, which offers a metal chassis, and a slim and sleek form factor. The Galaxy A with S Pen is only 7.5mm thick.

Specs Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen 8.0″ Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen 9.7″
SoC Snapdragon 410 (APQ8016) 4x 1.2GHz Cortex A53, 400MHz Adreno 306 GPU
STORAGE/RAM 16GB + MicroSDXC, 2GB RAM
Camera 5MP Rear Facing, 2MP Front Facing
Display 8.0″ 1024×768 PLS LCD 9.7″ 1024×768 PLS LCD
Dimensions 208.4 x 137.9 x 7.5mm, 313g 242.5 x 166.8 x 7.5mm, 449g
Battery 4200 mAh (15.96 Whr) 6000 mAh (22.8 Whr)

The S Pen is a nice addition to a tablet. Users can handwrite notes and schedule items, choosing from various calligraphy fonts for instant beautiful penmanship. The Enhanced S Pen also comes with Air Command, which includes Action Memo, Screen Write, Image Clip and Smart Select.

SM-P350_010_Detail_Gray

Price and Availability

Samsung’s latest tablets, the Galaxy Tab A with S Pen will be available in Sandy White and Smoky Titanium in Singapore at Telecommunication Operators, authorised mobile retailers, major Consumer Electronics stores and Samsung Experience Stores, from May 1. There’s an ongoing promotion. Consumers who purchase the Galaxy Tab A with S Pen will receive a free Samsung 32GB MicroSD card when they present their PAssion Card at the point of purchase.

  • Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (9.7”) 4G: $598
  • Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (9.7”) Wi-Fi: $498
  • Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (8.0”) 4G: $498
  • Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (8.0”) Wi-Fi: $398

With the Samsung tablet, you get access to Samsung Galaxy Life which offers access to the following content targeted at the Singapore market:

  • SPH Magazines: 65% off 1 year subscription for 2 titles at $28 (worth up to $80)
  • Microsoft OneDrive – Additional 100GB free for 2 years (worth up to $65.80)
  • Kindle for Samsung – 1 free book every month for 1 year (worth up to $60)
  • Parallels Access – Free 6-month subscription of remote access (worth up to $13.50)
  • Evernote: Free 3-month premium subscription (worth up to $20.40)
  • Sketchbook for Galaxy: Free professional drawing toolkit (worth up to $6.80)
  • Samsung KidsTime: Free 1-month access to over 80 learning apps (worth up to $6.50)

Compatible Accessories for the Galaxy Tab A with S Pen will be available from May 1 at the following recommended retail price:
+ Book Cover: $68 for Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (8.0”) and $78 for Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (9.7”) in Blue, Orange and Dark Titan.
+ Level On Wireless: $388 in Black, Blue, Red and White
+ S Pen: $38 in Sandy White and Smoky Titanium

I had to Google what was the Level on Wireless. The Level On Wireless is Samsung’s newest wireless headphones, They feature six built-in microphones, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) mode, and a dual-layered diaphragm system which helps suppress vibration to offer up a great audio experience. Not sure why it is listed as an accessory for the tablet.

Verdict

The Galaxy Tab A looks to be a well built tablet, and coupled with Samsung S Pen technology could have found a nice market niche with the useful S Pen features. The choice of a 4:3 form factor would also help differentiate with the other 16:9 form factors that other manufacturers tend to push out. This could have been a nice tablet had they bumped up the resolution to say 2048 x 1536 and similarly, bump up the SoC specs to handle the higher resolution count.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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