Samsung is the latest firm to launch a big-screen tablet in the shape of the Galaxy TabPro S, a Windows 10 device with a 12in screen and a full-sized keyboard cover that enables it to be used like a laptop, making it a potential rival for Microsoft's Surface Pro and Apple's iPad Pro for professional users.
Unveiled at the CES show in Las Vegas and available globally from February, the Galaxy TabPro S has been designed to appeal to "high-efficiency users" seeking to maximise their productivity at home, in the office or on-the-go, according to Samsung.
The new tablet weighs 693g and is just 6.3mm thick, and has been designed to be easily carried around all day, while the inclusion of a keyboard cover with touchpad enhances the device's usefulness as a productivity tool.
In recognition of this, Samsung will ship the device with a choice of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro, the latter providing business users with the ability to join the device to their corporate network domain.
The TabPro S is Samsung's first Windows 10 tablet, but it blends PC capabilities with design features and aspects from the firm's popular Android-based Galaxy tablet devices, such as a Super Amoled display.
"Galaxy TabPro S balances the best of Samsung's Galaxy Tab with the wealth of features on the Windows 10 operating system for the most advanced tablet experience on the market," said Dongjin Ko, the newly appointed head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business.
Ko added that Samsung was "thrilled to be working with Microsoft to deliver a 2-in-1 tablet that truly allows people to enjoy productivity and connections that matter most, through a seamless mobile station designed for all purposes".
Samsung claims that the tablet's 5,200mAh battery provides enough charge for all-day use of up to 10.5 hours, and can be fully charged in about 2.5 hours through a fast charging capability.
The Galaxy TabPro S features a Skylake generation dual-core 2.2GHz Core M processor with 4GB of memory and 128GB or 256GB SSD storage. As well as WiFi, the device will be available with a mobile broadband option supporting LTE Cat 6 for download speeds up to a theoretical 300Mbps.
Samsung has not detailed the ports or whether the Galaxy TabPro S features a slot for flash storage cards, but a multi-port adapter (HDMI, USB Type A and C) will be available as an option, along with a Bluetooth Pen.
The 12in display and Windows 10 Pro potentially make the Galaxy TabPro S a rival in the professional tablet market for Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, as well as Apple's iPad Pro, especially as it comes with a full keyboard as standard, even if this is just a keyboard cover and not a keyboard dock that would make it a true 2-in-1 convertible.
The Surface Pro 4 appears to have more configuration options, including more powerful processors, larger memory and higher capacity SSDs, but price may be a factor, and Samsung has yet to disclose how much the Galaxy TabPro S will cost.
Samsung also announced that its Galaxy S2 smartwatch, released last year, will be updated with iOS support in 2016. Unlike devices which run the Android Wear OS, which can pair with both Android and iOS smartphones as standard, the Tizen-powered Gear S2 is currently only compatible with Android handsets; this is set to change with the updated functionality, which will allow it to pair with Apple’s iPhones as well.
The Gear S2’s long-delayed support for Samsung Pay was also confirmed to arrive early this year, though initially only in the US. The Korean firm’s mobile payment system has yet to launch at all in the UK, however, and no further details regarding its launch were given.
Instead, Samsung revealed two new top-end Gear S2 models: one dipped in 18 karat Rose Gold, the other coated in platinum. Both are due to launch in March with pricing to be confirmed.
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