Galaxy Tab A 2017: Movies on the move

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