Samsung's enormous 18.4-inch tablet is more about Netflix than Office
Samsung's long-rumored Galaxy View tablet is now official. Less of an iPad Pro competitor and more of a portable streaming TV, the tablet has a gargantuan 18.4-inch display.
The theme with tablets of late seems to be "make them bigger." But while Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Microsoft's 12.3-inch Surface Pro 4 are 2-in-1s that double as laptops, Samsung's ginormous Galaxy View is more about video. The Korean company sees the new tablet as a media player that you can plop down in the living room, pick up and prop up in the bedroom without skipping a beat – as evidenced by its built-in handle and kickstand.
Its 18.4-inch display is ridiculously oversized for a tablet, but could be a good size for a TV that sits, say, a few feet away on a coffee table. Its 1080p resolution (a mere 120 pixels per inch) is mid-ranged by today's tablet standards, but at a small TV-viewing distance shouldn't look too bad.
Samsung has customized the device's Android 5.1 software with a video streaming home screen, including shortcuts to services like Netflix, Hulu, Twitch and YouTube (at least they're shown in Samsung's promo materials; the company says its content partners will vary by region).
The kickstand is designed for two viewing modes: both propping the device upright and a second position where the screen is nearly horizontal:
In other areas, the Galaxy View has a built-in 5,700 mAh battery with an estimated 8 hours of video playback, and a (non-descript) octa core processor clocked at 1.6 GHz. The device weighs 2.65 kg (5.8 lbs), heavier than more than six iPad Air 2s. This clearly isn't the device for handheld web-surfing or Candy Crush-ing.
Samsung hasn't listed any official pricing for the Galaxy View yet, but a prematurely posted pre-order page earlier this week pointed to a US$599 price tag. If its mammoth screen size appeals to you, that may sound tempting, but remember that any up-close tablet tasks you use the View for are going to look very pixelated (far from "Retina").