Samsung’s first slate duo of 2015 looks fairly lackluster on paper, and may not be priced as sensible as 2014’s GTab 4 lineup either.
It’s been more than nine months since the kings of Android diversity (and brand dilution) last unveiled a roster of mainstream tablets, which has to be some kind of record. After all, only about 60 days passed between the introductions of the mid-range Tab 4 trio and high-end Tab S 8.4/10.5 pair.
Also, let’s not forget the Tab Pro and Note Pro stack of “premium” Android gadgetry, unwrapped at CES 2014 in January and, by the looks of things, canceled after just one generation. Likewise, we highly doubt an assortment of Galaxy Tab 5s is in the pipeline, but the Tab A family is essentially the Tab 4 refresh no one really asked for.
Brought to light in Russia of all places, the Tab A line appears to include 8 and 9.7-inch models meant to better match Apple’s iPad footprints. Alas, market flooding remains an integral part of Seoul’s strategy, with two additional slates en route to Europe, at the very least, in the near future under the Tab A Plus brand.
S Pen support should (barely) separate the low to mid-end dyads, with the non-stylus-wielding Tab As obviously set to cost (slightly) less. Namely, around the equivalent of $300 in a Wi-Fi-only 8-inch flavor in Mother Russia, and €300 or so for the rest of the continent. Also, $/€370 with optional LTE added in the equation, as well as $/€370 and $/€440 in Wi-Fi-limited and 4G-capable 9.7-inch configs respectively.
Sounds pretty inexpensive, yet we can’t say the value for money is all that remarkable. Screen resolution will be capped at 1,024 x 768 pixels (with 4:3 aspect ratios), while quad-core Snapdragon 410 processors are expected to run the performance show, aided by 1.5 GB RAM on the smaller Tab A, and a full 2 gigs on the 9.7 incher.
Both Lollipop-running pads shall flaunt 5 MP cams on their rears and 2 megapixel selfie-friendly front snappers, with 16 GB internal storage backed by up to 128 GB microSD support. Basically, the only selling points here seem to be skinny 7.5 mm profiles. Hopefully, there’s metal around their sides too, although the first official live pics aren’t particularly encouraging.