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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  • kaidenshi - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    1024x768? Wasn't that the resolution on the first iPad? I think "midrange" is being a bit generous here.
  • Jumangi - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Well its midrage in price, with budget specs. Samsung and their junk tablets.
  • kaidenshi - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    What kills me it that it looks like it's actually a solidly built machine, and the SoC isn't that bad. The screen just ruins it though; if they wanted 4:3, why not make it 2048x1536 and get the most out of that GPU? The 9.7 model will especially be an eyesore, with every pixel visible from two feet away.
  • DanNeely - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Isn't the A53 about as slow as the A7 for all it's 64 bittedness? The real problem is that ARMs midrange core the A12/17 has been almost entirely MIA leaving nothing between topend parts and low end toys.
  • kaidenshi - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    That's why I said "isn't that bad". There are much better chips, yes. But a middling chip paired with a 2010 screen makes it a non-starter.
  • DanNeely - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    The Solo A7 and it's pointlessly 64bitted partner in crime the A53 are the new low end. Low end CPU, low end screen, potentially decent chassis (with a bunch of other bottom end specs I'm holding judgement until reviewers get their hands on) makes this still a relatively low end device. One step above bottom feeder on the spec sheet, but 2 or 3 steps up on price and thus a fail.
  • Samus - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    If these are really going to be 1024x768, that is just amazing "wow" right there. Wow. A push for even 1600x1200 was too hard? I ran 1024x768 on my 13" CRT in the 80's. No reason to have this resolution in 2015 on a 10" device.
  • close - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Maybe they had a stockpile of old, useless, 1024x768 panels.
  • ddriver - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    You are mistaking the 90s for the 90s. Besides it is not all that bad, 1024 at 8 inch is substantially higher DPI than most desktop monitors on the market. Think of all the 1080p 23-27 inch monitors...
  • Samus - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    No, 1024x768 was a pretty common resolution in the 80's on 286's.

    Yes, the DPI is THAT bad. It should be significantly higher because a desktop monitor you sit 'feet' away from your eyes and a tablet screen you hold 'inches' away from your eyes.

    Plugging the stats into Sven's DPI calculator:

    It comes out to an embarrassing 132PPI. Welcome back to 2007 mobile devices everybody! At premium prices, too!

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