Bangalore, October 17 2017: Tablet PCs are turning out to be tricky things. It is not clear who buys them. They are too big to carry around like mobile phones -- and bring hardly any additional functionality. They are not versatile enough to replace laptops for serious work. Samsung continues to lead the tablet business in India because it is clever enough to recognize the limitations of the tablet -- and work around them. This it does by segmenting. Its latest tablet, the Galaxy Tab A 2017, focuses on just one class of user: the compulsive video viewer. Such buyers want to watch movies on the move, not on television sets. But the largest mobile phones are too small to satisfy them -- screen-size-wise.
So the Tab A 2017 is 8 inches across with what is called a WXGA screen, that at 1280 by 800 pixels, is not quite full HD. However it can record in full HD video format. The cameras (8 MP rear with autofocus and flash ; 5 MP front) are just adequate and nothing to shout about. But by using a hefty 5000 mAh battery, Samsung ensures that viewers can go on a 14 hour video binge between recharges. I found the brightness, too, a plus-point when viewing movies outdoors or in a vehicle. There is also a useful blue light filter for viewing video in bed.|
Considering the core customer for this device, I would have liked to see more on-board storage: the 2GB RAM is less than many phones and the 16 GB solid state storage will hardly fit in half a dozen movies. One has to bank on the microSD ( up to 256 GB) to carry your portable movie or music video library.
When dad's away, the kids do play -- and this tab has a nice Kids mode with a safe game launcher. The OS is the latest Android Nougat with no added frills. Samsung has also installed an avatar of its smart assistant -- Bixby Home -- but without the voice extensions. Exploiting this feature, may take some practice.
At Rs 17,999, the Galaxy Tab A 2017 may find buyers whose movie mania may make a dedicated platform worthwhile. Anand Parthasarathy