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Samsung Galaxy TabPro S first impressions review: Appears to be a worthy Microsoft Surface Pro 4 contender

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S first impressions review: Appears to be a worthy Microsoft Surface Pro 4 contender

This two-in-one Galaxy TabPro S is expected to go on sale in India in April-May 2016.

Ankit Tuteja
  • IBNLive.com
  • Last Updated: February 9, 2016, 1:31 PM IST
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Unveiled to the world last month at CES 2016, the Galaxy TabPro S - Samsung’s latest 2-in-1 Windows 10 PC - was on display at Samsung Forum 2016 in Kuala Lumpur along with the newly-announced Galaxy A5 and A7 phones. While there is no precise date as to when the new Windows 10 device will come to India, Manu Sharma, director, product marketing, Samsung India electronics, said, "It will be launched in India sometime between April and May." When asked Sharma about the price he refused to divulge any details and said, "It will be priced in the premium segment."

In what is seen as a rival to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, the Galaxy TabPro S is designed on the similar lines as the Surface, which means that the TabPro S has functionalities of both a tablet as well as a notebook. In other words, there are two separate units - a tablet and a thin full-sized (magnetic) keyboard cover to convert the tablet into a fully-functional laptop. The keyboard cover houses a flexible hinge that lets users set the display in two positions - upright and laidback - depending on the user’s preference.

It was actually pretty easy and smooth to attach the tablet to the cover and switch between the positions. Also, the keyboard cover with a leather finish has a good build. I spent some time typing on the keyboard and didn’t find myself struggling with it at all.

The Galaxy TabPro S doesn’t feel heavy in hands and has a pretty slim profile. Measuring 6.3mm, the tablet, in fact, is slimmer than than the Surface Pro 4 which has a thickness of 8.45mm.

While the Surface Pro 4 has a full metal body, the Galaxy TabPro S has a plastic back with a metallic frame running along the edges. The Galaxy Tab Pro S may have a plastic rear panel, but it doesn’t look cheap. And the matte finish at the back adds to its elegance. Not only the tablet alone, the device with the keyboard cover on has a light weight and is comfortable to carry around.

While this particular concept of 2-in-1 PC may appear to be great in terms of both portability and utility, it is unlikely to deliver a full-fledged notebook experience. As the keyboard is thin and lightweight, it may not be easy to work on it while you are in your bed or say, in the absence of an even surface. It’s not only about the Galaxy TabPro S, the Surface Pro 4’s Type Cover has a similar design. This may not be an issue for some of you, but I think it could be a roadblock in a smooth notebook-like experience.

One of the key highlights of the Galaxy TabPro S is its 12-inch display with a resolution of 2160x1440 pixels. The display is great to look at produces crisp details and vibrant colours, and offers excellent viewing angles. The tablet has a 5 megapixel auto-focus rear camera and a 5 megapixel fixed-focus front camera, which generated results in line with our expectations.

The tablet houses two speaker grills - one on the left and the other on the right. We played some music on the tablet for a brief period and the results produced by them were above average. We are, however, yet to test the speakers in different environments.

Given that the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S will also be priced, like the Surface Pro 4, in the premium segment, it is still likely to have an edge over the latter on the pricing front. This is because, Samsung has bundled the keyboard with the device itself, while Microsoft’s Surface comes without the Type Cover, which means users have to shell out Rs 12,500 more for the keyboard. In other words, the Surface Pro 4 (with the keyboard) costs over Rs 1 lakh.

While Samsung is offering the keyboard with the device, it doesn’t bundle its multi-port adapter (for HDMI, USB Type A & C support) with the tablet. It’s, however, available to buy separately.

Talking about the stylus, Microsoft is offering its stylus with the Surface Pro 4 in India, Samsung, on other hand, is selling the Bluetooth Pen separately.

While the Galaxy TabPro S was globally announced in two storage variants - 128 GB and 256 GB, Samsung will bring only the 128 GB variant to India.

In terms of other specs, the device runs Windows 10 Home, packs a 5200 mAh battery with support for fast charging, Intel Core M (2.2 GHz dual-core processor) paired with 4 GB of RAM. According to the company’s claims, it takes just two and a half hours to reach full charge, and then offers up to 10.5 hours of usage. We, however, can only comment on its performance after using it for a longer duration and putting it to different tests.

The two-in-one device is expected to go on sale in India in April-May 2016.

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