March 5, 2017

MWC 2017 Series: Samsung joins the fray with Galaxy Book 10 & 12, and Galaxy Tab S3

Samsung doesn’t have its tablet game on recently (or more like not there) so we’re glad they released three new tablets in the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week: the Galaxy Book 10 and Galaxy Book 12, and the Galaxy Tab S3.

Microsoft’s Surface line is truly a powerful thing, isn’t it? It’s such a game-changing piece of technology that it spurred other tech companies into matching it, even exceeding it. When it came out last year, Samsung had to launch the Galaxy TabPro S, a Windows 10 tablet that tries to accomplish just that (matching and exceeding it).

You can watch the Samsung Press Conference on MWC 2017 below, or if you don’t want to watch it just yet (or can’t), scroll down further to get to know the latest Samsung tablets.

The Book Twins

Samsung tried to improve on the TabPro S, perhaps in an effort to create a better machine than Microsoft’s surface line, with the launch of the Galaxy Book 10 and Galaxy Book 12. (Where’s 11? We have no idea. Probably in the Upside Down. Just kidding, the 10 and 12 numbers are referring to their sizes: 10 inches and 12 inches.)

Inside Image_Galaxy book

The Galaxy Book 10 and 12 both run Windows 10 and come with styli and keyboard cases. They’re both slim and sport an aluminum frame, available in both Wi-Fi and LTE models, and have two USB Type-C ports, and fast charging features.

The Book 12 has a 12-inch Super AMOLED HDR display and Intel’s fanless Core i5 processor, while the Book 10 has a 10.6-inch, 1920 x 1280 pixel LCD display and an Intel core m3 processor. With the Book 12 being the better machine of the two, it features a more beefed-up camera, a faster processor, and a richer, more vibrant, HDR AMOLED display.

Though they both have up to 10 hours of battery life, the higher end Book 12 will shorten this battery life because of its higher specs.

Samsung made some key improvements with their keyboard case (see what I did there?) from last year. The new Books have better key travel, island-style keycaps, and backlight. The trackpad is 50% larger, too, than the one with TabPro S.

Both tablets come with an S Pen that has a rubber 0.7mm tip, supports over 4,000 levels of pressure sensitivity, and doesn’t need charging. You can use it to write notes, draw, capture screen shots, and more. You can’t store it in a slot on the Books though (they don’t have one) so you better take care not to lose them.

Sadly we don’t have news yet on when both models are going to be released and how much they will cost.

The Galaxy Tab S3

We talked about Book 10 and Book 12, now we’re gonna talk about the third one: the Galaxy Tab S3.

Inside Image_tab3

The 9.7-inch, Android-powered Galaxy Tab S3 is the successor to 2015’s Tab S2, featuring an all-glass back and up-to-date specs and features.

The Galaxy Tab S3 has a 2,048 x 1,536 pixel Super AMOLED display with HDR video support, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. You can expand its memory up to 256 GB via a MicroSD slot. It runs Android 7.0 Nougat (with Samsung’s modifications) and has four speakers (AKG-tuned) measuring 6mm thick.

Productivity seems to be an approach that a lot of tech companies are trying to get on in recent years, and with the emergence of Microsoft’s Surface, the competition for similarly-tuned devices just got a lot more intense. It’s no surprise then that the Tab S3 is trying a similar tact, as it comes with a new S Pen (the Tab S2 didn’t have one) supported by software that is productivity-centric.

The new S Pen is larger and thicker than its predecessors, with a new 0.7mm tip and over 4,000 levels of pressure sensitivity (just like its Book 10 and 12 brethren), letting you take notes, capture screenshots, record GIFs from video, and more. And just like the Book 10 and 12 styli, the Tab S3 neither has a slot you can store the S Pen in or a magnetic surface that the S Pen can attach to (come on, Samsung!). Then again, if it did, it would have been called a Note, as Samsung explained. Good thing the S Pen is flat on two sides instead of cylindrical to prevent it from rolling away. Still, be careful not to lose it!

The Tab S3 has an optional keyboard case for increased productive capability, attaching to the tablet bottom through a pogo pin. It’s made of plastic and is easy enough to type with, although it would’ve been great if the keys had a backlight. It doesn’t need to be charged though, as Bluetooth keyboards do, so yay for us!

The Galaxy Tab S3 also seems like a response to Apple’s iPad Pro 9.7 in terms of features, option, and performance, so yes, the competition is getting thicker in the tablet arena. Sadly, there’s isn’t a price and release date yet so we won’t know for sure if it can compete well with the iPad Pro as price can also be a deciding factor. So stay tuned!