Today Samsung Electronics America announced two new tablets that are coming to market in the United States. Samsung's new Galaxy Tab A tablets come in 8.0" and 9.7" sizes, and Samsung is marketing them as tablets that are well suited for keeping in touch with friends and family. The specs of both tablets are laid out in the chart below.

  Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0" Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7"
SoC Snapdragon 410 (APQ8016) 4x 1.2GHz Cortex A53,
400MHz Adreno 306 GPU
Display 8.0" 1024x768 PLS LCD 9.7" 1024x768 PLS LCD
Dimensions 208.4 x 137.9 x 7.5mm, 313g 242.5 x 166.8 x 7.5mm, 449g
Camera 5MP Rear Facing, 2MP Front Facing
Battery 4200 mAh (15.96 Whr) 6000 mAh (22.8 Whr)
OS Android 5.0 Lollipop
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n + BT 4.0, microUSB2.0

Both tablets have very similar specifications. They are both distinctly mid-range tablets, with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 at their heart, 1.5GB of RAM, and a 1024x768 PLS display. They're really only differentiated by the size of their displays, and subsequently their dimensions and battery capacity. I think it may be difficult for Samsung to charge a price premium for the 9.7" model when it doesn't have any improvements to display resolution or internal hardware over the 8.0" model.

What makes these new tablets stand out from Samsung's previous tablet offerings are their sizes and their design. Both tablets have a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is a significant departure from the 16:10 tablets that Samsung has produced in the past. Both tablets also have a full metal chassis, which will be an enormous improvement over the plastic construction of Samsung's other tablets. I am very interested to see what Samsung can do with this type of design on a high end tablet with flagship specifications.

Update: This article previously stated that he Galaxy Tab A tablets have a metal chassis. According to Samsung this is not actually the case.

Both Galaxy Tab A models are available for preorder now, and they'll begin to ship on May 1st in the United States. Both models are available in white, titanium, and blue finishes. The 8.0" model costs at $229, while the 9.7" model costs $299. There will also be a version of the 9.7" model with Samsung's S-pen included for $349. Through Samsung's new app partnership with Microsoft, the new tablets will come with Microsoft's Office for Android applications preinstalled, and buyers will receive 100GB of OneDrive storage for two years.

Source: Samsung via Businesswire

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  • SavingPrincess - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    1024x768 for $299?

  • ppi - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    There are many tablets with substantially better specs (sans the metal body), that are $150 or less. The screen resolution itself is super-budget even for 7" category, much less 10".

    Does Samsung actually plan to sell some?
  • R. Hunt - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Samsung always screws early adopters. These will have reasonable prices at discount in a few months, same as it's ever been.
  • jjj - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    You shouldn't chose a pic that makes it look better than it is, device makers only use pics at an angle to mislead about bezel size. With tthat in mid i'll link to the official page for the 8 inch version
    Anyway somehow they manage to keep pushing their prices up , was stupid last year, now it's getting hilarious.
  • mostlyharmless - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    The first pic sure doesn't look like a 4:3 tab...
  • jjj - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    It kinda does if you are paying attention but they picture it in diagonal and at an angle to make it harder for the eye to wight it on both axes and it kinda looks normal enough while a full frontal shows a somewhat odd looking device. The goal being to inform the reader , accurate depictions would be preferable.
  • p1esk - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    1024x768 - it's better be under $100! Is it intended for starving kids in Africa or something?
  • beehofer - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    I'm sorry for being a naysayer but what's the big deal about an all metal chassis? I personally don't like how hard and cold they feel. I prefer a plastic chassis if the the device is other wise solid. There I said it :^)
  • kaidenshi - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    I'm actually the same way when it comes to tablets; I love the feel of the Kindle Fire HDX tablets and the Nexus 7. With phones it doesn't matter so much since it goes in a case straight away. That said, metal cases look awesome if you're into that industrial look. And I've had a tablet in the past with a well-designed metal case that didn't try to slip out of my hands as soon as I picked it up (ZTE Optik).
  • psychobriggsy - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    I can't think of anything good to write about this tablet, especially not at the price it is at.

    Um ... maybe the 4:3 screen is a nice ratio?

    Fricking 1024x768, in 2015? What are they thinking, at over $200? That 10 incher will be like looking at minecraft when you are using it (okay, an exaggeration, but still, 1600x1200 should have been the minumum).

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