Just days before its much-awaited Unpacked event in San Francisco, Samsung has announced its thinnest and lightest tablet ever. The 10.5-inch slate could even compete with the 11-inch iPad Pro (not in performance) if you don’t mind using an Android tablet. The new Galaxy Tab S5e is highly affordable, and it’s Samsung’s first tablet to come with the Bixby 2.0 AI assistant. By offering Bixby 2.0 on the new tablet, Samsung has signaled that mobile devices are going to be a crucial part of its smart home strategy.
The thinnest and lightest Android tablet
The Galaxy Tab S5e has a premium metal unibody design. It is 5.5mm thin and weighs just 400g. By comparison, Apple’s 11-inch iPad Pro measures 5.9mm in thickness and weighs 468g. The ‘e’ in its name stands for ‘essential,’ says Samsung. It has an impressive 82% screen-to-body ratio, which is close to 82.9% of the 11-inch iPad Pro and higher than the 79% of its more expensive sibling Galaxy Tab S4.
The new tablet features a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1600 resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio. Unlike iPad Pro, Samsung isn’t positioning it as a laptop replacement. It’s aimed at people who want a larger screen to watch movies and play games on. The Tab S5e gets AKG-tuned four surround sound speakers to offer a great multimedia experience.
Since it’s not aimed at hardcore professionals, the tablet gets a mid-range octa-core Snapdragon 670 processor. It packs 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. There is also a microSD card slot for external storage of up to 512GB. Samsung will also offer a 6GB RAM variant with 128GB storage. The tablet packs a giant 7,040mAh battery that delivers up to 14.5 hours of battery life. The device also gets a 13MP main camera and an 8MP front-facing selfie camera. The camera is capable of shooting 4K videos at 30fps.
It will be Samsung’s first tablet to run the Android 9 Pie out of the box. It would also offer Bixby 2.0 virtual assistant. The updated Bixby brings “smarter connectivity” with the Call & Message Continuity feature. It will allow you to make and receive your phone calls on the Tab S5e even if you have left your smartphone at home. The tablet needs to be connected to the Internet, though.
The Galaxy Tab S5e will also support DeX, a feature it’s borrowing from the Galaxy Note 9. DeX allows users to turn their phones or tablets into a full-fledged computer by connecting it to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Galaxy Tab S5e pricing and availability
The tablet will become available in the second quarter of 2019 on Samsung’s website and at major retailers. It will come in both cellular and WiFi variants. It would arrive in black, gray, and gold color options. Samsung is offering four months of free YouTube Premium subscription with the Tab S5e and three months of free Spotify Premium subscription.
At just $399, it’s much more affordable than the $649 Galaxy Tab S4. But it makes a few compromises to keep the costs down. For instance, it runs a mid-range Snapdragon 670 chipset compared to the Tab S4’s Snapdragon 835 processor, which is much more powerful. The Galaxy Tab S5e also lacks the S Pen support. The Tab S4 ships with the S Pen in the box. It doesn’t come with a keyboard but supports one.
More exciting products coming next week
Samsung is going to unveil some of its most exciting products next week at the Unpacked event. According to the rumor mill, the company would show off at least three different variants of Galaxy S10 – a budget model, a regular S10, and a larger S10 Plus. We could also see a 5G variant of Galaxy S10 and Samsung’s foldable phone at the same event.
Earlier this week, The Verge reported that Samsung has accidentally leaked its entire range of upcoming wearable devices that could be unveiled next week. Samsung uploaded the Galaxy Wearable’s app with support for many unreleased products. The wearable devices include a Galaxy Sport smartwatch, Galaxy Fit, Galaxy Fit e, and Galaxy Buds.