Mobile World Congress could have been Samsung’s big moment to put 2016 behind it once and for all with a brand new flagship handset. Instead, the company is using the world’s biggest smartphone show to debut two distinctly different – yet decidedly Samsungy — takes on the largely staid tablet space.
The company was certainly up front about the fact that the Galaxy S8 would have to wait for its own standalone announcement at an event next month, instead issuing an invite that hinted at the release of a new slate that early rumors suggested would serve as the long awaited followup to 2015’s Galaxy Tab S2.
And, indeed, the Galaxy Tab S3 has hit the stage in Barcelona, as planned, bringing a familiar Android interface, with some hardware tweaks and peripheral updates that are well in line with the company’s other Galaxy offerings. Slightly more surprising, however, is the addition of another device to the ever-growing universe of Galaxy products, the Galaxy Book, a Windows-based convertible meant to compete more directly with the likes of Microsoft’s Surface line.
The Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book are targeted at distinctly different audiences – the former is a more traditional approach, aimed at content consumption, with a 2048 x 1536 display capable of HDR playback – the current buzzword in display technology that was once so dominated by talk of 4K. The system also features auto-calibrated speakers, designed to reposition based on how the system is being held.
The Galaxy Books (available in both 10- and 12-inch models), meanwhile, run Windows 10 on Intel processors with enough fire power to execute an app like PhotoShop with no lag. A partnership with Adobe, meanwhile, adds new functionality to the S-Pen, like tilt, which lets the drawer make different designs by adjusting the stylus’s angle.
Of course, there’s still overlap between the systems. The Tab S3 also uses the S3 for content creation (though it’s more akin to what you’ll…