The movie-friendly features don't stop with the best screen in tablets: It pauses when you look away!
By Anand Parthasarathy
July 21 2014: The tablet tends to be a jack-of-all-trades, designed to please customers who look for a weisure companion -- a device that combines a lot of leisure features, with just a work-friendly app or two to soothe one's conscience. Sometimes the makers can't help revealing where their collective heart lies. In the case of Samsung's Galaxy Tab S which has just reached India, I have a suspicion the designers are all movie addicts: they seem to have answered everything on the avid cinema fan's wish list -- and some more. Consider:
The Super AMOLED* display is the best I have ever encountered in a tablet -- the resolution of 2560 by 1600 makes it twice as sharp as the best High Definition screen. The default display mode is called "Adaptive" which adjusts the colours automatically depending on what you are doing on the tablet -- warmer for photos, more contrast when you are reading an e-book. In fact I was able to read a printed page quite easily, even while out in bright sunshine. But you can reset it for a Cinema mode which brings the full gamut of colours into play. There are two cameras -- an 8 megapixel with flash and a 2 megapixel which can shoot video at full HD.
The front facing 2 MP camera plays a double role in true cinematic style: You can make it work in a mode called Smart Pause -- so that it looks at you as you watch a movie and if you move your head away to do something else, it pauses the video till you it has your full attention again!
Not many tablets allow you to multi-task -- the Galaxy Tab S lets you open two active windows at same time -- you can work with one, checking your email -- and play with the other. Doing this is easy -- just drag and drop a browser, say into your active window. Another security feature that few tablets provide is the ability to scan and store your finger print so that you alone can open the machine.
Parents can set up a Kids Mode so that they can safely hand over their tab for children to play games while surfing is disabled. Another feature that I have not seen on a tablet so far: the ability to synchronise it to one's home or office desktop or laptop so that the tablet can work as a remote terminal accessing everything on your main machine.
Connectivity-wise, I found the Tab S very fast in latching on to my home WiFi network; but if you plan to use it for direct connections, you can install a 3G microSIM. While 3GB of RAM is adequate, I thought 16 GB of internal storage was on the low side -- but you can add another 128 GB in the microSD slot. The tablets runs the latest 4.4 version of Android on a combo of two quad core processors.
Keeping in mind its soft spot for movie buffs, Samsung is bundling a lot of filmi goodies in India -- 100 free HD movies from MyPlex; 3 months subscription to a 15,000 strong library of Marvel comics and the like. Those who like me watch movies on a tablet while in bed will be no strangers to a frozen shoulder after a couple of hours of holding it up. The Galaxy Tab S somewhat lessens the agony -- it is among thinnest tablets around ( 6.6 mm) and at 467 grams for the 10.5 inch model ( Rs 44,800) and 298 g for the 8.5 inch model ( Rs 32700) it is also one of the lightest. Prices on Internet retail sites are around Rs 5000 cheaper than these prices. More info here
*Tech Note: AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) is a display technology for use in mobile devices and televisions. OLED describes a specific type of thin-film-display technology in which organic compounds form the electroluminescent material, and active matrix refers to the technology behind the addressing of pixels.An AMOLED display consists of an active matrix of OLED pixels that generate light (luminescence) upon electrical activation that have been deposited or integrated onto a thin-film-transistor (TFT) array, which functions as a series of switches to control the current flowing to each individual pixel.
Manufacturers have developed in-cell touch panels, integrating the production of capacitive sensor arrays in the AMOLED module fabrication process. In-cell sensor AMOLED fabricators include AU Optronics and Samsung. Samsung has marketed their version of this technology as "Super AMOLED" -- From Wikipedia