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Samsung tablet 'sets bar higher'
Samsung has unveiled its latest tablet, claiming it is "setting the bar higher" with the device - its thinnest and lightest to date.
The Galaxy Tab S, available from next month, features colour-enhancing technology which it claims remains clear and bright even in sunlight and ensures the "best visual experience anywhere, any time".
For the first time, Galaxy users will be able to make and receive calls directly from their phone to the tablet thanks to a new "call forwarding" feature.
The Galaxy Tab S, which comes in two sizes, 10.5-inch and 8.4-inch, and two colours - titanium bronze or dazzling white - also allows consumers to multi-task by surfing the web, watching videos, sharing content and making calls simultaneously without having to close one application to access another.
JK Shin, chief executive of Samsung Electronics' mobile division, said: "With the launch of the Galaxy Tab S, Samsung is setting the industry bar higher for the entire mobile industry.
"It will provide consumers with a visual and entertainment experience that brings colors to life, beautifully packaged in a sleek and ultra-portable mobile device."
Industry commentators suggested Samsung was aiming to take on Apple's iPad at the upper end of the market. The prices - £ 449 for the 10.5 inch and £349 for the 8.4 inch - are actually higher than the iPads, although they offer expandable storage up to 128GB.
Duncan Bell, operations editor at UK-based gadget magazine T3, said it should be able to compete with the mighty iPad.
He said: "After several years of releasing a market-confusing glut of middling-to-good tablets, the S seems to be an attempt by Samsung to say 'This time we've got it right'.
"The specs leaked so far suggest a device easily able to go toe to toe with the iPad. However, Apple's device is so dominant that the S will also need to be cheaper if it's to truly compete."
Jack Parsons, deputy editor at Android Magazine, said: "On first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S looks like every other tablet, but at 10.5-inches it's just a little larger than normal. However, it is the first Galaxy tablet to feature a Super AMOLED screen, which on this size canvas offers a 288 pixels per inch - surpassing both the iPad Air and Kindle Fire HDX."
Stuart Miles, founder and chief executive of technology site Pocket Lint, said the new tablet could trigger a change in strategy from Samsung.
"The rumours surrounding the Samsung Tab S tablets suggest that we should see a range of fantastic flagship Android tablets that are finally able to compete with the iPad Air or iPad Mini on a like-for-like basis," he said.
"Previously, successful Android tablets have been aimed at the mass market entry-level and that has left power users wanting more. That move by Samsung is likely to be welcomed by those looking for something powerful and comprehensive rather than just a device designed for surfing on the sofa."