Samsung’s tablet repertoire keeps growing, this time abandoning the S for an A. The Korean giant had stated that they would be trimming and focusing their smartphone and tablet lineups by reducing the number of devices and making them more cost-effective for consumer (read, cheaper). While we still see many Samsung phones, critics agree that they do indeed feel more polished and with a clearer purpose. This is how Samsung’s Galaxy A line-up came to be, a spiritual successor to last year’s Galaxy Alpha that didn’t quite buzz around as expected, but still offered a solid package with surprising performance for a non-flagship.
The Galaxy Tab A attempts to bring a tablet to this new philosophy. It was recently announced for South Korea and Taiwan, to come out next month in Wi-Fi and LTE with an optional S-pen stylus. There are 9.7 inch and 8 inch variants , but the latter was only confirmed for Taiwan back then. What is good about the Tab A? While the Galaxy Tab S featured a vibrant and crisp AMOLED display that wowed critics and users alike, it disappointed in terms of UI responsiveness and for many it was simply not worth the exorbitant price tag. The Tab A seeks to fix that by offering a more balanced product at a very cheap price. We received an anonymous tip that showed us early pictures of this device:
The Galaxy Tab A contains a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM, which should be enough for a Lollipop tablet. These pictures show devices for the American market, and you can already see the tablets in Best Buy’s product listing. The tablets are priced at $229.99 for the one with an 8 inch display, and $299.99 for the 9.7 inch version. All variants come with 16GB of storage with a microSD slot, and the displays used are neither Samsung’s AMOLED nor IPS LCD panels, but rather 1024 x 768 resolution TFT screens. This seems like an odd move, as IPS is generally preferable to TFT displays, but it was probably a needed move to save costs. Sadly, these tablets also come with Kids Mode (ugh).
So, is this tablet going to blow anyone’s socks off? No, not at all. But for the price, it remains a decent Samsung offering. Considering the Asus-made Nexus 7 was recently discontinued, the market is in dire need of strong budget alternatives. Samsung’s new solution might be a little too pricey still, but with features like multi-window the tablet gets a lot more use out of that big display that others out there can’t match. If you wanted this tablet to hit the United States, you should be pleased. For the rest of us, this is just another Samsung product we might never hear much about again.
What do you think of the Tab A? Is it affordable enough? Let us know your opinion!