Big, chunky laptops are going out of fashion fast — the future is about small, portable tablets. Samsung’s TabPro S is a 12-inch, super-thin slate with an incredibly beautiful and detailed Super AMOLED display. It’s on sale around the country today, and it wants to dethrone Apple’s iPad Pro as the future of personal computing.
Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that tablets and thin-form-factor touchscreen devices — with keyboards, with pens, with integrated cameras, GPS, and 4G SIM slots — are the future of computing. He said that much at last week’s March event, where the company introduced a new smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro and a smaller 4-inch iPhone SE. Samsung believes that same thing — our combined computing future is about thin, portable, super-light, super-visual tablets. Just ones running Windows, not iOS.
Enter the Samsung TabPro S. Announced at CES 2016 this year, the TabPro S is Samsung’s first Windows-powered device in Australia in quite a long time — since the company dropped out of the laptop game in Australia some years ago. Built on Microsoft’s Windows 10 platform and running an Intel Core M3 low-power system-on-chip, the TabPro S is Samsung’s most ethnographically diverse device in a long while.
Portability is this tablet’s calling card — it’s the world’s thinnest Windows 10 device at 6.3mm thick without its keyboard accessory, and weighs only 693 grams. The TabPro S is built around a 12-inch, 2160x1440pixel Super AMOLED display — it’s the first (non-smartphone) Windows device with an AMOLED screen, and it’s one of the largest AMOLED displays outside of LG’s 55-inch-plus OLED TVs.
Samsung is bundling its full-size leatherette keyboard cover with the TabPro S, setting it apart from Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface family of tablets and saving buyers money at the same time. The keyboard cover, which looks quite similar to the first generation of Microsoft’s Type Cover, also has a trackpad to complement the TabPro’s touchscreen.
The TabPro S’ internal 5200mAh battery is capable of 10.5 hours’ regular usage, and can be recharged from empty in 2.5 hours using the tablet’s USB Type-C connector and Samsung’s fast-charging wall adapter — which will charge at 25 Watts, 15 Watts or 10 Watts depending on the device connected. Apart from USB Type-C, the tablet’s only other I/O is its 3.5mm headset jack.
Software is, for the most part, stock Windows 10 Home or Pro, but Samsung Flow syncs notifications across your Galaxy smartphone and the TabPro S, and also lets your Samsung phone (running Android 6.0 Marshmallow) unlock the tablet remotely via fingerprint and Windows Hello. It’s straightforward, and the kind of thing that keeps your eyes on (Samsung also has a wonderfully Windows 95-esque 3D text screensaver preloaded onto the TabPro S.)
The TabPro S will cost $1499 in Australia, for a single spec level using an Intel Core M3-6Y30 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of flash storage, and a 5200mAh internal battery capable of 10.5 hours’ usage. Samsung will sell the TabPro S as both a Wi-Fi-only and a SIM-enabled variant, with the 4G Category 6-compatible tablet going on sale a few weeks from today. As of April 1, you can buy the Samsung TabPro S from JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Samsung Experience Stores and the Samsung Australia website.