Right now there’s word on the street, and plenty of leaks to prove those rumors, that Samsung’s gearing up to launch a really, really big tablet. Bigger than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, bigger than Apple’s iPad Pro, and probably bigger than conventional wisdom should allow. With an 18.4-inch display, the Gear View is a huge tablet.
And it’s very much a tablet. It doesn’t boast any stand-out specifications that make it really compete with any other product, especially not a desktop-class computer, so there’s no wiggling out of that. It’s a tablet with an 18-inch screen.
Who is this for?
I think we can all admit that Samsung revolutionized the smartphone market several years ago thanks to its big phones. While some people may not like them, the rest of the world has caught the big screen fever, and now our flagship devices all focus on the biggest displays possible in most cases. Even last year’s Nexus-branded smartphone boasted a six-inch display.
But there’s still a point where a portable device is meant to be portable. Keep the user mobile. While a six-inch phone is ridiculous in my opinion, it’s still portable enough and fits in most pockets (I hope). An 18-inch tablet, though, is as ridiculous as we can get at this point.
There’s not even much to like here with the Galaxy View. It has a 1080p HD resolution display, the processor is an Exynos 7580 octa-core processor, 32GB of built-in storage, and 2GB of RAM. That’s . . . middling. Even the front-facing camera is a 2.1MP shooter, which means it’s already trumped by a variety of smartphones on the market. It’s running Android 5.1 out of the box, and the battery is measured at 5700mAh.
I’m already uninterested in the tablet based on its screen size, but none of those specifications scream quality to me. The device is obviously geared to consume media, and I’m sure it’ll have split-screen functionality, but with 2GB of RAM, well, I wouldn’t expect that great of performance — especially over time.
Oh, and it costs $599. In tablet prices, especially with a screen that big, that’s practically a steal. More than anything, though, it’s a pronouncement for those mid-range specifications. And, worse, it’s overpriced for something that should sit on a counter somewhere and just spill out hours of media.
A Smart TV that has a 24-inch 1080p HD display, and internet-connected apps like Netflix and more, is priced around $170 right now. $170. You could even pick up a Nexus Player for around $99 (it’s on sale right now and can find it around $70) and a GamePad for around $45 and still come way, way under Samsung’s asking price.
Samsung used to be a company that just launched anything it wanted, and had a laundry list of devices that seemed to not actually be aimed at any one consumer. This seems to be one of those instances all over again. An 18-inch tablet doesn’t make any sense to me.