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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5-Inch Tablet (16 GB, Dazzling White)
Color: Dazzling WhiteStyle: TabletChange
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1,198 of 1,248 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2014
Android is a very capable operating system. With it, Google accomplished the unthinkable -- widespread Linux use by average home users. Linus Torvalds popularized his kernel with nerds and the enterprise, but the search giant made it accessible for all. Here's the thing though -- the fact that Android is powered by Linux doesn't matter. No, to the average consumer, all that matters is the experience. What lies beneath is inconsequential.

Samsung recently released the Galaxy Tab S 10.5, its newest flagship tablet. The device's closest competitor is the iPad Air -- which is a tablet I love. Besides Apple's tablet, there is really no other product to consider at the $500 price point. So, if you are considering a $500 general-use tablet, the only question that must be asked is -- is it better than the iPad Air?

Boy, what a tough question to answer -- tough, but not impossible. I've been using them both, side by side, for some time now and I have some definitive thoughts.

Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Specs

Network -- Wi-Fi Only
Processor -- Exynos 5 Octa (1.9 GHz QuadCore + 1.3 GHz QuadCore)
Display -- 10.5-inch WQXGA (2560x1600) Super AMOLED, 287ppi
OS -- Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Camera -- Rear: 8.0 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, Front: 2.1 Megapixel
Connectivity -- Dual-Band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO, BT v4.0, USB 2.0
Memory 3GB RAM, 16GB Internal Memory, microSD (Up to 128GB)
Battery -- Li-ion 7,900mAh (10.5)

Analysis

The first thing you notice upon taking the Tab S from the box is just how thin and light it is. Shockingly, at 6.6mm and 465 grams, it is even thinner and lighter than the iPad Air. This makes it very easy to hold and reduces arm-fatigue. Of course, at this point, we are splitting hairs -- both tablets are really thin and light.

If you are in the market for a 10 inch tablet, the screen should be a huge factor in your decision. For a while, the iPad Air display was one of the best, if not the best. The retina display, while partly marketing-speak, produced beautiful and vivid images. While the display on Apple's tablet is still great, it can no longer be called the best.

The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 offers a 2560 x 1600 resolution, but that is only part of the allure. The real news is the Super AMOLED technology, that recreates the most beautiful colors and imagery. Some may argue that this technology over-saturates the colors -- I must disagree. True, colors are more vivid, but not to the point of creating a mockery by any means. No, it instead treats the user to a more life-like experience.
Where it really shines is in the sun (pun intended). In my backyard on a sunny day, the iPad Air is unusable. It is impossible to decipher what is on the screen, so I must head for shade. The display on the Galaxy Tab S, is a totally different story. Samsung's technologies allow the user to have a better experience under sunlight. This is achieved using sensors that adjust the display to your surroundings.

Much like its smartphones, Samsung has implemented its TouchWiz improvements to the otherwise boring Android interface. When compared to the stock experience of something like a Nexus 10, TouchWiz makes the user experience much more colorful and lively. Things get taken to a new level with this tablet though, as it takes advantage of a tablet-optimized "magazine" mode, which I rather like. Don't like it? Install Nova Launcher. It's not a big deal, guys. Android gives you the option to choose.

The iPad does not allow you to easily add additional memory. While you can jailbreak and access SD cards and flash drives, under normal usage that is not allowed outside of photo importing. Samsung's tablet offers a microSD slot, so you can add up to 128GB of additional storage on the cheap. While newer versions of Android are making it problematic for apps to use the card, it will work wonderfully for storing media, docs and any other file you want.

The rear camera on the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is actually not bad. Should it become your dedicated camera? No. Still, for a tablet, it is quite capable. There is very little noise and shutter is quick. However, the front-facing camera is pretty bad. Pictures come out very grainy, but it serves its purpose as a video-chat camera for services like Hangouts and Skype.

Sound on the tablet is remarkable. While not front-facing like the class-leading Surface Pro 3, there are at least stereo speakers located on the sides, that lend to solid stereo separation. The user can actually make out right and left channels, something that can be lost when the speakers are positioned on the bottom or rear. Watching a movie on this tablet is a dream -- the combination of speakers and display make it the perfect Android-powered media tablet.

Unfortunately, and strangely, the tablet uses USB 2.0 for connectivity. I understand that many people are moving towards the cloud and connecting to a PC is becoming a rarer occurrence. However, why implement USB 3.0 on the Galaxy S5 smartphone, but not on this flagship tablet? What is good for the goose, should be good for the gander, I say.

The Tab S 10.5 uses a mixture of capacitive buttons and a hardware button on the long end of the rectangular bezel. Capacitive buttons are OK on a smartphone, but fail on a tablet. In other words, the hardware home button is fine -- the capacitive ones are the hindrance.

When holding the Tab S vertically, my thumb is constantly hitting these touch-sensitive buttons. It ruins the experience when doing something like reading, as you want to be immersed in the story. Very often, when I relax and get comfortable, my thumb wanders to those buttons and ruins it all. Could this just be a learning curve? Sure, maybe I can train myself not to hit those buttons, but that should not be necessary. You can see what I am talking about in the above photo.

For internet activity, it is a Wi-Fi only affair. This is fine, as I mostly use tablets in my home. If it does leave the house, I simply tether using my phone. The wireless chip in the Tab S is top-notch though, offering 802.11AC. When connecting to my Apple Airport Extreme, the 5GHz band was visible, it connected quickly and was super-fast. Nice!

The iPad Air is a class-leader in battery life, but the Tab S is no slouch. While I did have to charge it more often than the iPad with equal usage, it still outperformed any other Android tablet I have used. On average, I would say it achieved about 10 hours of use between recharges, which for my usage, meant it would be charged about every three days. It would be in standby when not in use.

My favorite aspect of the Samsung Galaxy S5 is the fingerprint reader. I am happy to say that it is equally accurate on the Tab S. However, I find it a bit awkward to use on a 10 inch tablet, when located on the middle of the bottom-horizontal bezel. I would prefer it to be located on the top right of the face, so I can easily slide my finger. This means the fingerprint reader and the button should be separated on tablets. Do I appreciate having it? Yes. Do I use it often? Yes. Is it ideally located? No.

All in all, this tablet is incredible and should be bought although there are some things that holds it back from beating the iPad

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515 of 540 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2014
This is my fourth Samsung 10 inch tablet Ive tried in the last couple of years. Ive always wanted to replace my iPad with an android tablet especially one made by Samsung. Almost all my electronics that I own are made by Samsung, except for my iPad Air and Apple TV 2. This tablet is an improvement over the Tab pro which was released just 6 short months ago. I kind of wish Samsung had just waited longer and released this tablet instead of the tab pro.

Whats new and improved:

The tab s feels much better built over previous Samsung tablets Ive tried. The previous tablets had a much more plastic feel to them and make clicky sounds when holding them. This one feels nice in the hand with the nice grippy material and also looks more higher end.

Touch wiz is more simplified and faster.

This tablet has 3gb of ram, which is 1gb more than the tab pro. Its much faster now and multitasking is smoother. More apps can run in the background and fewer refreshes in apps and on webpages.

Improved screen quality since the screen is now an AMOLED, its brighter and has better battery life. The screen is also larger now at 10.5" when compared to the tab pro which was 10.1".

This tablet has a built in finger print scanner. This is a very handy feature to have for added security without having to type in a PIN, password or pattern. Too bad this feature hardly works. I had to slide my finger a good two to three times for it to register and unlock the screen for me. No other tablet on the market has this feature currently including the iPad Air. I am glad samsung added this feature but it needs work.

Ultra power saving mode can greatly increase battery life especially when it's very low. Although it turns the screen into black and white and only allows you to use a few selected apps. I really don't see how this is that handy on a tablet, but, is super handy to have on your smartphone like it is on the s5. Still nice for samsung to include this.

Side Sync is an built app that allows you to access your Samung Galaxy Smartphone remotely while on the same wifi network. You can take calls, read/reply to texts and transfer files from you tablet. This is very handy feature. I thought initially it only worked on the newer S5 but I was able to download the app on my S4. Sadly I couldnt get the feature to work with my s4.

The tab s also has a new private mode which allows you to hide files, pictures and videos. The private mode is also incorporated with finger print scanner so that the hidden files only show when using your finger to unlock the screen.

What still needs improvement:

The placement of the menu and back capacitive buttons still comes in the way and gets accidentally pressed when using the tablet in portrait mode. I guess you could just use the tablet in landscape mode all the time.

The tablet ecosystem in the google play for 10" tablets is very limited. There are still many apps that just dont take advantage of this tablets larger, higher resolution screen or aspect ratio. This is not the case with iPads and one of the main reasons why I still prefer my iPad Air. Some of the apps cant even run in landscape mode which is what this tablet is meant to be used in. Here is just a small list of the tablet apps that are not optimized yet: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Yelp, Dropbox, Dictionary, Instagram, Epocrates, Medscape, WebMD, Zedge, Tapatalk.

I still found there to be some lag from time to time. At times the tablet was just really fast and other times it was lagging for no apparent reason. I installed nova launcher and disabled many samsung and google unneeded apps to make it slightly better.

I also found there to be issues with the network connection. The tablet always seemed to be connected to my router but from time to time I experienced issues with it loading pages or refreshing apps. I had no issues like this on any other device on my network. So I suspect it was the tablet only that this issue.

The screens responsiveness was not up to par with other touch screen devices I own and tried. At times I would have to press the screen muilitiple times before it would respond.

The watch on tv remote seemed to give me very odd and weird information. It would show me content that had nothing to do with my cable provider or the channels I selected. I took a look at the same app on my Samsung S4 and the information was totally different. The information on th s4 app was correct. Maybe a future update to the wach on app on the tab s will improve the results for me.

Although battery life is much improved in this tablet. Its still not as good as what Im getting with my iPad Air. With the tab s I was getting about 8-10 hours of screen time mostly from surfing web pages and a little youtube streaming. With the brightness at about 30% and some notifications enabled. With my iPad Air I can easily get 15 hours with the same type of usage and settings. If I really push its limits I can get about 18 hours of screen time on my iPad Air.

Samsung Tab S vs iPad Air

The tab s clearly has better hardware and specs. The screen is so much better than the iPad Air. The tab s has higher resolution screen and more pixels per inch than the iPad Air. The iPad Air's 9.7" screen is smaller than the tab s which is 10.5". The screen also get much brighter is great for outdoor use. The screen also gets much dimmer which is better for night reading.

The placement of the speakers on the tab s is much better. When watching a video you get the nice stereo effect in landscape mode. With the iPad Air the speaker are not placed on either side of the screen, so you only get the stereo effect when using the tablet in portrait mode. I did find the speakers on the iPad Air to have more bass in them. Both tablets had just as loud speakers in my opinion.

The Tab s had micro sd slot so expanding storage is cheap and easy. It accepts cards up to 128gb. But the use of card is limited quite a bit now since the kitkat update. Not at appps can run and be stored on the sd card. Also apps iSyncr for example which is an app that allows you to transfer your music wirelessly from your PC to your tablet/phone, only works when connecting your devcie via usb to your pc. Or you have to root your device to gain full rights over your own sd card.

The tab s has only about 10gb of available storage out of the box. There is no 32b version available right now and also no choice of getting more storage. With an iPad you can get up to 128gb storage, but storage is expensive at $100 each step up.

The tab s has included gps. In order to get gps with an Ipad you have buy an LTE enabled model which is another $120.

The tab s can run two apps side by side at the same time. Not all apps are support with this feature, but its very handy when multitasking. The IPad Air cant do this.

The tab s has the watch on tv app and a built in IR blaster. Makes it easy to control your home entertainment system from your tablet. The iPAd AIr doesnt have this feature.

Overall the tab s is nice improvement over the last version. My main reason in sticking with my Ipad Air is the app support. I also prefer the 4:3 ratio that the Ipad AIr has. It looks great in portrait mode for reading and browsing web pages. I dont like the tab s in portrait mode it just isnt functional that way. If you use your tablet mostly for watching videos and playing games, I would say the tab s is the better choice. Also if you use your tablet alot outdoors than the tab s is better since it gets brighter. But the Ipad does have better battery life, better support,higher resale value, Airplay, Multitasking Gestures and more accessories. Also the Ipad Air will updates much quicker. I have no idea how long the Tab s will take to get android L. Probably atleast a good 3-6 months once its publicly released. Where as the Ipad AIr will get iOS 8 the day it comes out. My only main gripe about my Ipad Air right now is the lack of ram, at 1gb it has to refresh apps and website frequently. The tab s is better for multitasking. You cant go wrong either way. They both are great tablets. But the tab s is more versatile and has better value.

Update: Just wanted to add a few things I missed in my initial review. The tab s has the faster wireless which is ac when compared to the iPad Air which does not have ac wireless. This will only be an advantage if you have an ac wireless compatible router.

The tab s takes a little bit less than 7 hours to fully charge. Versus the iPad Air which takes a little bit over 4 hours to charge.

Also the tab s does not have NFC capability.
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474 of 515 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 28, 2014
Color: Titanium BronzeStyle: TabletVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Update 7/23/2014: reducing to 4/5. Battery life (and charging) is not as good as iPad or for that matter, for a device that costs 500 bucks. A few issues with Android as well (but then I have my own gripes with IOS as well). The microSD slot was hard to use. I use a Transcend 32GB MicroSDHC Class10 UHS-1 Memory Card with Adapter 45 MB/s (TS32GUSDU1E), but it is quite difficult to insert and keep it locked; had to use a tool (I used the microsd adapter!) to push the card in. This card does get recognized and I can use it well.

Old Review:
My iPad 2 broke and I was looking to buy an (a second one in the household) ipad air; got this at the right time, and am in tablet heaven...
I did try a Dell Venue 8" - my first android tab - a while ago and it was a disaster (turns out there are display and hardware issues with that model). So when I got this, I was a bit skeptical - only for the first 10 minutes, though!
Let us get to details then...
Summary of differences with ipad:
1. MicroSD slot! (up to 128Gb capacity)
2. Better and bigger display
3. 3GB memory for running applications (compared to 1GB)
4. Camera 8MP compared to 5MP
5. Fingerprint sensor!

Size and handling: At 10.5, it is bigger than ipad air. Even thinner than iPad at 0.26 inches; smooth surfaces, and as with iPad Air, it is a bad idea to handle this beauty without a case; it is quite easy to drop these, and they are not made to hold in hand for long hours without a cover, either. So, please buy a good cover to go with this.

Display: At 2560x1600 it is about 25+% more than iPad air in terms of resolution (287ppi compared to 264ppi) - and it shows! Beautiful Super AMOLED display beats out the LED displays. It is reported that AMOLED displays are usually not bright enough, but on this model, it is more than enough - even in bright outdoors. The settings entry for brightness has an 'auto' mode, but that doesn't seem to work fully well (an android issue or Samsung issue), and it is still bright in the night. I had to turn off auto and reduce the brightness manuallly for night time viewing! The display is gorgeous, to say the least, and the best part of this tablet.

Battery and charging: Battery life is quite adequate at about 8+ hours ( I did run through several episodes of burn notice with netflix streaming on one charge). Charging with the included charger does take longer than I expected - several hours for full charge. In addition, there is ultra power saving mode you can turn on from 'settings -> General' menu - this mode takes you to a black and white screen mode and allows basic web surfing, email and a few application that you can choose to add. In this mode, it can last quite a few hours with just 10% charge remaining.

Bloatware: Contrary to some review, there is some bloatware that is pre-installed but not much. There are two boxes that show up in the second screen - Galaxy essentials and galaxy gifts. If you go in to this, you get to choose what bloatware you want :) But there are some good ones such as wall street journal or Economist 3 month subscriptions for free, GQ and other free issues, as well as some free games.
There are 2 apps - Samsung Level (for the soon-to-be-released Samsung headphones - to compete with Beats..) and Samsung Gear - pre-installed.

Camera: 8MP for the back camera with a flash compared to just 5 MP in iPad - seems good. But this is the only feature that was ordinary in Samsung tablet. The pictures in auto mode doesn't look as good as a normal (cheapo) 8MP digital camera photos in auto mode - even to an untrained eye. (I put a Canon EOS 7D to good use and I can spot a good camera when I see one; sadly this is not one of those..), but it is adequate; so is the front camera at 2 MP.

WIFI - comparable; both support a/b/g/n dual band MIMO, but Samsung also supports 'ac'. Quite easy to setup/connect to home networks. So far there is not one hiccup with the wireless access. Excellent performance.

CPU - While iPad only has A7 ARM cores, Samsung has 4 A7 cores and 4 A15 cores; it claims it switches the cores depending on the need/usage/power requirements. For all practical purposes, it is fast; there is some lag but not serious lag in using multiple apps and notifications and background tasks going on.

Fingerprint sensor: It is all how you train (give samples) the sensor! It takes 8 samples to setup, and so use your finger in slightly different angles - tilting your finger a little from left to right before each sample. Settings screen and fingerprint setup also allows you to setup an alternate password in case you can't get through with your fingerprint. In addition you can always unlock with your google account. I am able to use the finger sensor almost without any failure so far and found this this to be way better than the one I have on my Dell Lattitude notebooks.

Audio: has 2 speakers one on each side (unlike ipad air), and the audio is decent for this price, though I prefer to use earbuds for better sound.

Watch On app and the IR capability: while new for Samsung, the app is still not ready; has several issues. It let me add my Denon receiver, dish receiver, sony bluray and panasonic tv etc., but I can't turn off or control all devices individually (no selection for device). Only volume, channel change etc work! Power button asks what device you want to power off - again didn't list bluray or receiver - only my TV and Dish. I hope this will get fixed as the app improves. But basic IR facility is great - worked from a distance of 20+ ft across the room.

I absolutely love this. In terms of hardware, it scores a 10/10; fit and finish is great and I would expect this to last at least another 6 to 8 years (unless the technology obsoletes this hardware - which it will...); Apple has been trounced from the tablet throne with this entry.
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92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2014
I gave up on iOS 8 and replaced my iPad with this tablet -no regrets. Moving to the android environment isn't without a few headaches, but having the freedom to pretty much customize everything is awesome. I'm not a big fan of anything cloud based and appreciate Samsung's Kies-3 software enabling tablet sync, backup and restore functions directly from a MAC or PC. (I'm using the PC version.) I can drag and drop files from my desktop, and view/delete files on the tablet. I installed a 128GB Micro SDXC card and have tons of storage. The tablet comes with allot of bloatware- delete what you can and disable and hide the rest! I'm not taking any battery saving shortcuts on the display (because its absolutely amazing) and use the tablet frequently throughout the workday. The battery rarely drops below 50%. The only iPad software I miss is the free version of Microsoft Office (not yet available for android tablets).
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2015
I love this tablet. It's a 5 star tablet.
- The screen is amazing. Crystal clear and probably the best out there for tablets.
- Speed. This tablet is fast and I've only had mild lag issues.
- Android. The interface is wonderful, smooth, and intuitive.

But it has one fatal flaw. Bloatware.

I am paying for a 16gb tablet, yet I can only use a fraction of this amount because of the many unnecessary apps that are pre-installed and impossible to remove. Why?

If apps come pre-installed, allow us to remove them. I don't use Evernote, yet it is pre-installed and impossible to remove. Why? What function does this serve?

Doing the math, buyers really get about a 8gb tablet. 4-5gb goes to system memory and another 2-3gb are apps you can't get rid of.

I could add a SD card, but that also has drawbacks. In my experience, SD cards are unreliable. I've lost data numerous times due to SD card failure. This is the path I took and if I find a reliable card, I will update my review here.

It is really a shame that such wonderful hardware (and some software) gets dragged down by bloatware.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2015
Model I am reviewing is the SM-T807T (T-mobile LTE Version with Snapdragon 800 cpu)

Pros:

-Great Build quality
-I love the texture of the case
-Flash on the back camera
-The screen makes the iPad Air retina jealous
-Watching movies with dark scenes is watchable
-Samsung scaled back Touchwiz on this
-Expandable memory
-Battery life is on par with my iPad Air
-Super thin and light

Cons:
-Wish it supported a USB port (most androids don't)
-Samsung slow to update O/S on premium device (Apple wins hands down on updates)
-bloatware
-wish expandable memory was sd size not micro sd
-16gb...really samsung.

I also have the keyboard that goes with it. Wish the keyboard had a pointing device.

Overall Samsung did an excellent job with this unit. Just remember Samsung has a history of not updating their tablets and they release tablets almost every day. Good support from XDA developers on custom roms to keep devices base OS updated.

Most pro reviewers don't think there is a need for multi tasking (watching vids and surfing net at same time) on tablet. I disagree and love that you are able to watch a movie and surf the net at the same time.

I also had a Surface Pro 128Gb tablet. The surface pro had benefits of an i5 processor but on the tablet form factor it was lacking. It was thick, ran hot, and the fans were loud. Pro's on the surface pro is you can watch the free version of Hulu, watch network videos on their website, etc.

I highly recommend this device. 2K video playback is wow! You have to see it for yourself.
___
4/11/15 Update:
I notice the iPad Air sleep function utilizes much less battery power than the Galaxy Tab S. Will see if there is a WiFi setting on the Tab S to minimize power loss. Maybe the iPad sleep function turns off WiFi or something.
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2014
Fantastic tablet that has it all. Stunning screen, fast processor, Android Kit Kat, good cameras. The only thing I can possibly complain about are the speakers. They are very small and not very loud, but it has bluetooth so I am going to buy a wireless speaker. LOVE THIS TABLET. Get the "book cover" for it. It is a must have with this tablet. It protects it and lets you view it in three angles.

UPDATE: This tablet just keeps getting better. The GPS chip in the Tab S is unbelievably accurate. When I pull up my location it shows a blue dot sitting not only on top of my house, but in the right room. I have now also (very happily) learned I can print from it to my wifi printer AND the newest version of Android (Kit Kat 4.4) is just simply incredible. I turned off the fingerprint scanner because I don't need it. I didn't even test it out. The camera was of little importance to me, but I do like how you can use your voice to capture an image. It takes surprisingly good pictures because of that feature since there isn't any camera shake from pressing a shutter button. You can also use the GPS to add location tags to your photos which I think is very cool.

I bought the 32gb version in Titanium Bronze and put a 64gb, class 10 microSD card in it. It now has plenty of storage. LOVE THIS TABLET.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5-Inch Tablet (16 GB, Titanium Bronze)

UPDATE: (now owned for a month). The bluetooth on this tablet is flawless. I am able to play music to my bluetooth stereo from rooms other than where my stereo is. Even from my patio! And as stated before, GET THE SNAP ON "BOOK COVER". It protects the tablet and makes using it very easy. It actually snaps onto the back of the tablet so there aren't any silly straps or anything holding it on. I don't plan on ever taking the book cover off. LOVE THIS TABLET.
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82 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2014
It's a fantastic tech tool.
I'm a veteran IT professional who works for a Health IT company. I picked up this tablet with the sole purpose of replacing the laptop I use for work. Having to do IT work in doctors offices and surgery centers means little space to work in very hectic environment. I needed something less cumbersome than my Dell 15" laptop. At first I was a bit nervous going from a MS windows OS to Android. Turns out this tablet works out better than my laptop for everything I need it to do and more.
We can talk about how great the screen and sound are, or how awesome games play. There's no surprise there. What I don't see getting mentioned in these reviews are the abilities of the Tab S with a few small accessories. Like purchase a Micro USB to standard USB adapter and now you're able to access any thumb drive or portable HDD.
My favorite attachment though is the USB Ethernet adapter. The tablet let's you hardwire a network connection. That ability with the right apps, has allowed me to do all kinds of network troubleshooting and mapping, even cable testing.
I've seen a bunch of reviews and comments that talk about the battery life, I can honestly say I have absolutely no complaints about the life of the device. I'm able to sit with my S5 in sync with the pad speak through the mic and speakers on the pad, while running remote connections through logmein, and split screening my company's ticketing app. As well as slide in a couple min between tickets to play some games. And at the end of an ordinary 10-11 hr day my Tab S is still rocking around 35/40% juice. I have to admit I am a stickler for app management though, I don't let apps just run in the back ground. The Tab S makes app management ridiculously simple to!
And it never changes temperature, it's the weirdest thing. I can feel my phone get hot after use, but this thing never gets warm! like even slightly. I've joked about it being "Alien Tech", but it is a very "cool" (Ba dum cha) feature.
In my line of work I get to see plenty of Apple, Microsoft, and Android products in use. And between the networking, VPN, and EMR software compatibility issues from the MS Surface line. And the countless compatibility issues Apple has being forced to play in the Microsoft sandbox of the business/professional world. I have been very pleased by the performance, capabilities, and compatibility of my Tab S.
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153 of 178 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2014
Everyone knows all the pro's, so let's look at what they messed up:

Not much. Just the same pesky stuff they've been messing up for years (read engineers isolated in a vacuum lol).

An inherent design issue with these slab-tabs is grip. Samsung chose to ship this without a cover, and they make it extremely hard to get one in the first 30 days. They also did this on all of their high end phones such as the Note series. Without a cover, it's a slip/drop accident in the making. Yes, you'll drop it, and yes you'll have finger prints all over the screen trying to hold on.

IMHO the 3rd party warranties that are being pushed are another accident in the making. Never hear too many good outcomes about these guys, and plan to be without your Tab for a while. I noticed in the reviews that most owners just get their old one back in the same condition, but now officially certified broken.

Remember this thing has no cellular radios. Not that I really want one. If I need wifi while on the road etc, I just mobile hotspot my cell (free with ATT nowadays @ 20GB it's about time). They also ignored texting with this device, but there's a few downloads I'm going to try.

A lot of apps are not ready for this amount of hi-res screen real estate. But they're getting there. Some just look sloppy, and a few will core/quit.

The multi-window thing is not much more than work in progress. It only works with a few apps, and then it seems silly. I'd rather the tab itself speed up foreground application switching, through cache etc. than a failed attempt at true windowing.

Buttons. Menu isn't menu. The home is now on the side when you use it up/down. And without a case or a grip, you'll always be hitting some button that will take you into some other part of the world. Get used to using your left hand for back, home, and get used to using your fingernails to hang on.

The fingerprint reader is not all that hot. It doesn't work half the time, and will time you out for a full 30 secs after 3-4 failed tries. I just turned it off. That was one feature I really thought I'd like and could use, but in practice it's just not that useful. A old-timey screen swipe is still king of the unlocks.

Performance is ok, but it won't knock you off your chair. But ok is good enough in this case. Not sure if the 8 core processors that are being used for the non-US units perform any better, but I would imagine they would. Main issue you'll experience is a small lag from one screen or app to another. Sometimes it can be a second or so. Not much really, but do it 30x and you'll find yourself waiting a surprising amount of time overall.

Samsung/Google STILL does not have resizable icons - even on Android 4.x. The icons are circa-2008 and are huge. The screen is so hi-res, you could shrink your icons down to 25% of their concreted-size and still be very visible and useful. So if you want to really customize your UI, you'll have to go with another launcher. I use Go-Launcher (have for years). Now I've got 10 icons across, and about 15 rows down. With text. And the hot-icons at the bottom are also customizable.

In fact while I'm at it, this whole stupid touchwiz thing has just got to go. It's a static, pre-configured UI and not even worthy of a tab of this caliber. Look guys, put your development efforts into making Android a full blown OS rather than re-arranging the icons every release for each device then calling it "the new TouchWiz". Team up with one of the launcher guys and make it useful. Windows and IOS are kicking your butt here.

Some of the *free* software like Dropbox is surprisingly useful. But to get dropbox to work, you'll have to refer 5 friends, install it on 2 other computers and the like. More fine print. And read it carefully if you're making your purchasing decision based on free s/w as they all have some little kink like that.

Now charging and batteries. First you MUST use the included charger and cable. It will not charge with a 3rd party micro USB cable, or a longer one. It will not charge with another USB port. It will charge while connected to my iMac, but not a Thinkpad. And it still takes forever to charge - like 4-5 hours at the shortest. Now in all fairness since it's new I'm banging it pretty hard, and killing the battery in about 5-6 hours of use time. The sleep mode keeps all the wifi/BT stuff alive, not sure how to put them to sleep also but maybe you can. Not sure it matters as that huge screen is the highest power drainer.

And no, you can't swap out the batteries like you can on the Notes or S3-4-5. And you've never been able to swap batteries on any Apple IOS product. Heck, iPad/iPhone still don't have a memory card slot after 10 years of incessant screaming from their customers. Actually since Steve died they haven't had much of anything new have they - but that's another story.

Ok, if you've read this far you know all the annoying stuff that's still not fixed or well conceived. Believe me - none of this annoying stuff is a show stopper for this unit.

Why? Because the ONE thing that we use the most, and the one thing we've tossed the most rocks at Samsung about - the screen - is by far the best display of about any device out there. And it's better than almost all computers sans the new 4k displays. From our incessant screaming for years for 1) replaceable battery 2) stereo speakers 3) memory card slot 4) a super-hi res screen 5) fingerprint login and 6) a thin bezel, out of the 6 they fixed 3 or 4 pretty well. Not bad. LG, Sony and Apple take note and turn up your hearing aid. (Oh - yes there are two speakers on this thing left and right that somehow did not make the specs list).

Samsung always waits to see sales figures before they make cases and keyboards. So you'll wait as nobody else has them either.

So for the $$, I felt I really got what I paid for. I reassure myself every time I turn it on and it jumps out at me. And everyone around me hangs over my shoulders to see. Yea, it's that good
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2014
First off I am into technology and love to have the latest and greatest. I have been a fan of both Apple and Samsung products. I have always liked Macs over PC's and iPad's over Android tablets but phones I have always loved Android.

I was hesitant to get the tablet because of the price but Sears made the decision a lot easier by offering me $225 worth of SYWR rewards points and Discover with Cashback. I ended up pulling the trigger and was so in love with the tablets screen and quickness that I ended up purchasing another one because I would never see anything like this ever again. Even better, it was AC technology and my internet is super fast and it makes it more enjoyable. It helps that I also bought a 32gb SD hard and I love that Android allow you to do this because I essentially have a 48GB tablet for a 16GB price. Put a lot of movies on the tablet for myself and my son. eBay has a great deal for cases for this tablet for $8.34 and I recommend buying it because this is a big investment.

The iPad doesn't get much love as of late even though I still like it but seriously Samsung has saved the Android ecosystem with the great features they have on their phones.

I highly recommend anyone looking for a tablet to buy this because I am a very picky shopper and I have never been a big fan of Android tablets until now.

Pros:

Screen Resolution
AC Wi-fi
Fast
Expandable memory
Technology

Cons:

None so far
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