Event Coverage

First Looks: Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

By James Lu - 8 Apr 2016

First Looks: Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

Note: This article was first published on Jan 6, 2016.

The 12-inch tablet with detachable keyboard space is quickly becoming one of the most hotly contested markets around. And now joining the likes of Apple's iPad Pro, Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 and Lenovo's IdeaPad Miix 700 comes Samsung's effort, the Galaxy TabPro S.

The TabPro S may bear the Galaxy name but unlike the rest of Samsung's Galaxy products, there's no Android to be found here. The tablet runs on full Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro and is powered by a 6th generation Intel Core M 2.2GHz processor and 4GB RAM. That means it's not as powerful as Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, but as a tradeoff, thanks to the Core M's fanless design, its quite a bit thinner and lighter, weighing in at just 693g (or 696g for the LTE version), and measuring a mere 6.3mm. That also makes it thinner and lighter than the iPad Pro by the way.

Based on its name, the TabPro S may seem like it's part of the same family as Samsung's Galaxy Tab S lineup, but its design is actually closer to Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Note 5 smartphones. Unlike the plastic frame of the Tab S2, on the TabPro S you'll find a sturdy magnesium alloy frame with a smooth finish, very similar to the frame of the S6. It even has a similar speaker grille.

The TabPro S only has a single port, but it's a good one. The tablet is the first to ship with a USB 3.1 Type-C port, which means you'll be able to enjoy data transfer bandwidth of up to 10 gigabits per second. If you need more expansion, Samsung will also be selling an optional port hub with HDMI and USB Type-A and Type-C ports. Apparently a Bluetooth stylus will also be available separately, but unfortunately we didn't get to see it in our brief hands-on session.

You only get one port on the TabPro S, but at least it's a USB 3.1 Type-C port.

The TabPro S will be sold with an accompanying full-sized magnetic keyboard case in the box, which, like the tablet, is remarkably slim and light, making the entire package very portable. The keys are flat and a bit plasticky, but are fairly comfortable to type on and the trackpad, while small, is accurate enough for navigating the Windows 10 OS. The keyboard case attaches to the tablet via a Pogo pin connection, so there's no need to pair it or charge it separately. The keyboard's magnetic cover can be set to two viewing angles: one optimized for desktop use and one for use in your lap.

The keyboard case lets you switch between two angles. This lower angle is designed for using the tablet in your lap.

Anyone who has used one of Samsung's flagship smartphones will know how great their displays are, and fortunately, that's carried over to Samsung's new tablet. The TabPro S has a 12-inch 2,160 x 1,440 pixels resolution (216ppi) Super AMOLED display that is bright, colorful and has great viewing angles. It's just as good as Samsung's smartphone displays and hopefully it's just as power efficient too. Samsung tells us you can expect about 10.5 hours of battery life out of the TabPro S' 5,200mAh capacity battery, which sounds pretty good, but we'll have to wait for a review unit to confirm that.

Speaking of smartphones, if you have a Samsung smartphone, there are a few extra features available for you when you use your TabPro S tablet. You'll be able to unlock the tablet with your phone by tapping it on an NFC pad hidden just left of the keyboard's trackpad. You'll then be prompted to use the fingerprint scanner on your phone to unlock the tablet and log you in. You'll also be able to share your phone's data connection without having to setup and connect to a wireless hotspot.

The TabPro S looks like a great addition to the competitive 2-in-1 Windows tablet field. What it may lack in processing power, it makes up for with an amazing display and a sleek and lightweight build that should make it the go-to choice for anyone concerned with portability.

The TabPro S will be available in both Wi-Fi and LTE versions in February in black or white (the LTE version is actually the first Windows tablet to support LTE Cat 6). Two storage options will be available: 128GB and 256GB. Pricing has not yet been announced.

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