Samsung keeps adding to the lineups, but are you going PRO?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Following in the steps of LG, Samsung took their own stage during the CES 2014 festivities in Las Vegas, Nevada, to announce some new hardware. While the company's press conference is going on while I write this, they're busy talking about the future of possibilities, and what that can mean when it comes to devices you'll find in your living room. Everything is getting smarter, like our TVs, and Samsung is aiming to be the dominant presence in just everyone's living room across the globe.
At the same time, though, Samsung's obviously not changing gears when it comes to the mobile domination they're inexorably trudging towards. Even before their press event started, they took the wrappings off some brand new hardware geared towards your mobile life, all of which bears the "new" tag, but shares plenty of commonality from previous devices.
Is that a bad thing? A great thing? I'm still on the fence.
The new devices that Samsung announced, four in all, don't diversify from the company's naming strategy. There's one that boasts the Note title, while the three others are subject to the Tab emblem. As you can expect, the Note tablet offers that little extra thanks to the S-Pen stylus you'll get included with the total package, but that doesn't mean the new Tab tablets aren't worth a second look, too.
The top of the list is the Galaxy NotePRO. The first thing you'll notice is the gigantic 12.2-inch Super Clear LCD display, which boasts 2560x1600 resolution. On the front you'll find a 2-megapixel camera, and on the back you'll notice the 8MP shooter. Inside, there's 3GB of RAM and you'll get an option of either 32GB or 64GB for your onboard storage needs. There's a microSD card slot, too, if neither of those options please you. There's also a 9500mAh battery, which should keep you going for quite a bit of time, depending on your usage. As is usual for Samsung, there are some options when it comes to the processor. If you want to pick up the LTE-equipped model, you'll grab the NotePRO 12.2 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, clocked at 2.3GHz. If you go with the Wi-Fi-only or 3G-equipped model, you'll find Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa chipset (1.9GHz quad-core & 1.3GHz quad-core) inside.
Not surprising, but the Galaxy TabPRO features the same specifications as the NotePRO, from the battery to the processor, all the way up to the pair of cameras. For all intents and purposes, the TabPRO 12.2 is exactly the same tablet, but with one major difference: lack of S-Pen support and features.
Going down the ladder, you'll find the TabPRO 10.1, which will give you access to a 10.1-inch Super Clear LCD display, with a resolution of 2560x1600. Again, you'll find an 8MP camera on the back and a 2-megapixel camera on the front. There's only 2GB of RAM inside, and you'll have to choose between 16GB or 32GB for onboard storage, but there is a microSD card slot. The battery measures in at 8220mAh. Interestingly enough, the 10.1-inch tablet also boasts the same chipsets as the larger TabPRO and NotePRO.
Finally, the smallest new tablet, the TabPRO 8.4. You'll get an 8.4-inch 2560x1600 Super Clear LCD display, with 2GB of RAM and a choice between 16GB or 32GB of storage. The battery comes in at a whopping 4800mAh, and the processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core chipset, clocked at 2.3GHz.
The other link between all four tablets? Android 4.4 KitKat. That's right, all these new tablets will be launching with the newest version of Android on board, which should make plenty of people happy. You'll also get the most up-to-date version of Samsung's Magazine UX, which will let you arrange your home screens with content and news feeds, as well as get automatic updates from your most frequently used apps.
What you're looking at is larger, smaller, and more options. Essentially, we're looking at a continuation of Samsung's strategy, so nothing should be surprising here. The Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 is just a larger version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition. And the other TabPRO tablets? Well, those are just more options to the "basic" tablet market that Samsung is obviously focused on dominating, even if it just crushes it with numbers.
We're not seeing Samsung focus, or thin out the herd. They're keeping their strategy intact, and obviously they've resigned themselves to this methodology for the foreseeable future. If CES is the jumping off point for companies into any given year, then we know that Samsung is going to have plenty of new devices throughout 2014. Choices are a good thing for consumers, and this mentality of offering so many choices, between screen sizes most notably, is sure to make plenty of folks happy who have been looking for that "perfect" screen size.
What do you think, though? Is this strategy, of flooding the market with devices --all similar at their core-- what you look for in a company? Or would you prefer if Samsung put their focus on just a few, if not a couple, of devices a year? Let me know what you think!