Samsung, the second-largest seller of tablets worldwide, has released its next generation of Android Galaxy Tab devices.
The new Galaxy Tab4 comes in seven, eight and 10.1-inch flavours, and fill out the Samsung's mid-range tablets line-up following its launch earlier this year of the higher-end Galaxy TabPro, which came in a whopping 12.2-inch screen version, as well as 10.1-inch and 8.4-inch models.
While the specs for the Tab4 range don't represent a huge jump in specs, the new devices ship with Android KitKat and all have 1.2GHz quad-core processors instead of the dual-core chips that powered the previous generation of Tabs.
Samsung hasn’t said whether it's using its own ARM-based Exynos line of processors or Intel chips, but it's thought to be the latter. Intel announced last year that the 10.1-inch Tab3 was running on its Clover Trail+ Atom Z2560 processor as well as its 3G and 4G chips.
Samsung appears to have standardised key specs across all three devices, with each shipping a 1280x800 resolution WXGA display — which is an improvement on the seven-inch Tab3's 1280x600 resolution. All three models have the same three-megapixel front-facing camera and 1.3-megapixel rear-facing camera and come in wi-fi only, wi-fi plus 3G and wi-fi plus LTE editions.
But there are a few unique changes to each model, mostly in the form of weight and thickness.
The seven-inch Tab4 has been slimmed down from 9.9mm thick to 9mm, and now weighs 274g instead of the Tab3's 300g. It has 1.5GB of RAM and comes with either 8GB or 16GB onboard storage. In the 3G and wi-fi versions, the microSD slot supports up to 32GB additional storage, while the LTE device can support up to 64GB of additional storage. The device has a 4,000mAH battery, which is the same as the previous generation device.
The eight-inch Tab4 has headed in the opposite direction and is slightly thicker and heavier than its eight-inch Tab3 predecessor. The newer model is nearly identical in width and length with 124mm x 210mm dimensions; however, it's 7.95mm thick compared to the Tab 3's 7.4mm.
The newer tablet weighs 320 grams. The wi-fi, 3G, and LTE versions ship with 1.5GB RAM and 16GB onboard storage with a micro SD slot that supports up to 64GB additional storage. The device has a 4,450mAh battery, which is again the same as the Tab3.
Meanwhile, The 10.1-inch Tab4 is nearly identical in weight and dimensions, remaining 7.95mm thick but slightly lighter at 487g instead of the Tab3's 512g. The resolution otherwise remains the same at 1280x800, while it still ships with 16GB onboard storage. Similarly, Samsung has retained the 6,800mAh battery for this model.
According to Samsung, the devices will be available in black or white and will begin shipping globally in the second quarter.
While the Tab4 range only makes a few improvements to the Tab3 lineup, the devices cost less than the iPad. According to Gartner, Samsung's sizeable Tab range has helped it carve out 19 percent of the tablet market in 2013. It shipped 37 million tablets compared to Apple's 70 million last year, with Samsung's tablet shipments growing 333 percent year on year.