Samsung's new business tablet features a stunningly thin design, great security features and one of the best displays around. The new Galaxy Tab S tablet comes in two sizes: 8.4 inches and 10.5 inches. It improves on Samsung's value-priced Galaxy Tab slates with a variety of features from the company's flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone, including a fingerprint reader and KNOX, a suite of secure applications for business users. But the centerpiece of the new Tab S is its super-sharp and colorful AMOLED display, the first of its kind on a tablet. Check out a full hands-on look at the Galaxy Tab S tablet at our sister site Laptop Mag, or read on for five features that make this slate good for business.
The Tab S is one of the thinnest tablets ever. Both versions measure just 0.26 inches thick, compared to 0.29 inches for the iPad Air and iPad mini. These Samsung tablets are also exceptionally light; the 8.4-inch model weighs just 0.87 lbs., while the 10.5-inch version is 1.02 lbs. By comparison, the iPad Air weighs 11.7 lbs., even with a smaller, 9.7-inch screen. That makes either Tab S device a good pick for commuters and frequent travelers looking for a device that won't weigh them down.
Like the rest of Samsung's Galaxy tablet and smartphone offerings, the Tab S has a plastic body. The back of the tablet has the same dimpled, textured feel as the Galaxy S5, Samsung's flagship smartphone. That makes it a bit easier to grip, especially with one hand.
The Tab S packs in a slew of security features, including a fingerprint scanner embedded in the Home button. Just slide your fingertip over the button to quickly and easily unlock your device. That's a big plus for business users who must regularly access private business or client data on their tablets; the scanner ensures that only you can access that information. You can also use the fingerprint scanner to access Private Mode, a special folder where you can store your most sensitive messages and documents.
The Tab S also includes a new security suite called KNOX, which lets you run business apps in a secure "container" separate from the rest of your applications. That ensures that other apps can't access confidential business data. Samsung's new slate also includes KNOX EMM, a set of tools that business owners and IT departments can use to remotely control Tab S devices. These tools let you restrict which apps can be downloaded on an employee's device, and includes the ability to remotely wipe all data.
Like other Galaxy devices, the Tab S includes Multi Window, a software feature that lets you run two apps at once in a split-screen view for better multitasking. That means you can compose an email while conducting research in the Web browser, for example. Most tablets only let you run one app at a time.
To use the feature, just swipe in from the left side of the screen to pull open the Multi Window app drawer for a list of compatible applications. Drag two apps onto the screen to display them vertically, or turn the tablet on its side to position the apps horizontally. You can drag the border between windows to resize them, and even copy and paste text between them. The feature will work best on the larger, 10.5-inch model of the Tab S, since it offers more screen real estate to view both applications.
A new software feature lets you control your Samsung smartphone from your Tab S tablet. Called SideSync, it works by linking your tablet to your phone when both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Once you're linked, your smartphone screen will appear in a separate window right on the display of your tablet. You can resize the window and move it around, and launch and use smartphone apps. When your phone receives a new email or alert, you can view it right on your tablet. You can also easily drag and drop photos and files to transfer them from your tablet to your smartphone, and vice versa.
But the best feature of SideSync is that it allows you to take and place phone calls right on your tablet. When a call comes in, you can pick up with a single tap. Your tablet will leverage the connection from your smartphone, even when your phone is in another room; you'll use the speaker and microphone on the Tab S to complete the call. That way you can spend less time fussing with multiple devices and more time working.
The Galaxy Tab S is a great business tablet with a great display. Both versions pack 2560 x 1600-pixel AMOLED displays that deliver better contrast and more-saturated colors, as well as wider viewing angles, compared to other tablets with LCD screens. And Samsung's Adaptive Display tech makes the viewing experience better by automatically adjusting the color range, saturation and sharpness of the picture based on the current lighting conditions. A great display isn't just for watching media; it also makes everyday business tasks like browsing the Web and reading email easier on the eyes.
The Tab S display isn't just sharp; it's also big. The 10.5-inch model offers more screen real estate than the average 10-inch tablet, and significantly more space than the 9.7-inch iPad Air. That makes screen-intensive tasks such as editing a document on your tablet more comfortable.