Samsung is refreshing the Galaxy Tab A, its family-focused tablet first released in 2015. The new model keeps the 8-inch screen, and beefs up the memory, screen resolution, cameras and battery.
The 2017 Galaxy Tab A is powered by a 5,000 mAh battery, which Samsung says provides up to 14 hours of video playback – that's an extra two hours over the 2015 model. RAM has had a slight upgrade (2 GB up from 1.5 GB), and while the built-in storage stays steady on 16 GB, the MicroSD card slot can now accommodate cards up to 256 GB – double that of the last model.
Although the screen is still the same size, it packs more pixels into that space. The new Galaxy Tab A sports a resolution of 1280 x 800, and Samsung says it's brighter to make sure it stays visible even in direct sunlight. For night-time viewing, the screen can be switched to a blue light filter mode, to reduce eye strain and prevent bright light from messing with your sleep patterns.
Both cameras have been bumped up too. The front-facing cam is now up to 5 MP from 2, while the main camera is now 8 MP, and features a flash function for the first time. On the software side, Samsung has added a new Home feature, which lets the device display information like the time, calendar, weather or photos on the lock screen. The idea, it seems, is to turn the device into a kind of clock while it's sitting in the dock.
Besides those tune-ups, the new Galaxy Tab A is much the same as the 2015 model. It's designed for the whole family to share, with enough customizable user profiles for each family member and detailed Parental Controls to keep the kids entertained without stumbling onto anything they shouldn't. Kids mode also now includes a free "Value Pack" of apps like Lego Batman: Beyond Gotham and Toca Hair Salon 3.
The new Galaxy Tab A will be available in Black, Silver and Gold colors from November 1, for US$229.99.