After several years' worth of mid-ranged slates, last year's Galaxy Tab S series was Samsung's first truly flagship tablet. A year later, the company has a pair of sequels that push light and thin to new extremes.
The Galaxy Tab S2 comes in 9.7-inch and 8-inch display options. While last year's batch had longer 16:10 aspect ratios, these take on the iPad's boxier 4:3 ratio. At 2,048 x 1,536, they also have the same resolution as Apple's latest tablets – and, interestingly, that gives them lower pixel densities than we saw in last year's Galaxy Tab S slates.
Like last year, both displays are Super AMOLED – which should mean rich, vibrant colors, high contrast and deep blacks.
Where they set themselves apart, at least spec-wise, is in their insane lightness and thinness. Both are just 5.6 mm (0.22-inch) thick, 8 percent thinner than the already razor-thin iPad Air 2. The 9.7-inch Tab S2 is also 11 percent lighter than the feathery Air 2.
Samsung says the tablets have metal frames (meaning the edges), unlike the plastic found on last year's models – though it appears that the tablets' backs are still plastic.
Both tablets have octa-core Samsung Exynos processors (two quad-cores, one clocked at 1.9 GHz and the other at 1.3 GHz). Both have 3 GB of RAM.
No word yet on pricing, but last year's models started at US$500 (full-sized model) and $400 (smaller model). The Tab S2 pair will launch globally in August.