Along with the official announcement of the Galaxy Tab S2 for South Korea, yesterday’s news also brought with it a mysterious “keyboard bundle” for the larger, 9.7-inch tablet variant. With the OEM’s domestic website now having an official page for the product, the keyboard cover can be seen in all its glory, along with the presence of a very interesting development: a track pad.
Early last year, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Tab PRO line of products, consisting of the Tab PRO 8.4, 10.1, and 12.2. In addition, a Galaxy Note PRO 12.2 was released. These devices were heavily promoted by Samsung as being designed for productivity given the presence of pre-installed applications such as WebEx and Remote PC, as well as a full-fledged productivity mobile suite called Hancom Office. Praised by many reviewers, Hancom Office was often described as being the first “true” Microsoft Office rival on Android, if only for the fact that so many features and so much of the functionality was retained. Still, the keyboard cover for the Tab/Note PRO 12.2 was a very standard affair:
The Galaxy Note PRO 12.2 keyboard cover
No track pad to be found
In the year since the release of the PRO series of tablets, Samsung and Microsoft came to an agreement to bundle Microsoft Office apps onto Samsung products in exchange for resolving a problem that had surfaced in the Korean manufacturer’s failure to pay royalties. This, in and of itself, has furthered the idea that Samsung is interested in focusing on business productivity, a sentiment further bolstered by partnerships with IBM and Blackberry.
The inclusion of a track pad on the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch’s official keyboard cover will not only help customers better use make use of the product in terms of their business-doings, but it could very well be seen as a way to both preempt the expected business-friendly Apple iPad Pro that is rumored to be launching this Fall, and have some basic rivalry with Microsoft’s very own Surface line of tablet PCs, especially given the diagram seen below, which suggests multi-angle positioning is possible:
Given the relatively high specs of the Galaxy Tab S2, as well as the clear absence of the Galaxy Tab PRO from this year’s product line refreshes, it looks like Samsung is intent on adding extra functionality to the Tab S2 for those who need it. Beyond that, the presence of a touch pad itself will likely reappear in future products, and may be a clear indication of the Korean company’s strategy in trying to solve the rather concerning condition that tablets now find themselves in.
The Galaxy Tab S2 comes in an 8-inch, and 9.7-inch variant, both of which employ a 4:3 aspect ratio 2048×1536 SAMOLED display, and will be available in LTE and Wi-Fi-only configurations. It features an Exynos 5433 Octa-core SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of on-board storage, and an 8-megapixel rear, 2.1-megapixel front camera set-up (no flash, sorry). It will ship with Android 5.0.2 and features the same “touch-based” fingerprint sensor used in the Galaxy S6 and has support for microSD. The 9.7-inch variant will include a 5,870mAh battery, and the 8-inch variant a 4,000mAh power-cell.
While no pricing has yet been announced for the keyboard case combo, even as a stand alone product it would not be unsurprising to see an amount hovering around $150+.
Despite the presumed high price point, is anyone interested in the potential productivity this new product accessory might offer? Leave us a comment below!