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Another Galaxy Tab?! Here's how to pick the Samsung tablet that's best for you

With the just announced Galaxy Tab S, Samsung now offers at least ten Android tablets. Which is right for you? Our buyer's guide can help.
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By Matthew Miller, Contributor on
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1 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Choosing a Samsung Android tablet can be a daunting task

Yesterday Samsung announced two more new Android tablets and I asked myself if I was living out the movie Groundhog Day since it seems like Samsung announces new Android tablets with colorful displays every month. To help myself and the readers, I decided to put together this gallery and post that details ten current Samsung tablets.

With Apple, it is easy to remember there is the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina Display. They still have a couple older models squeezed in there to round out pricing. With Samsung we now find Note and Tab models in various display sizes. However, as you can see below, there is more than just display size that sets each of these apart.

The key differentiator between the Note and Tab series is the use of the S Pen on the Note series. The physical designs are very similar, but the intent of the Note series is for users to use them a replacement for paper when taking notes, drawings, and more.

Let's start with the oldest and walk through their current lineup. You will also likely find last year's models still being sold by carriers and retailers, but I will just stick with the 2014 models.

Starting from September 2013 until yesterday, we have the following Samsung tablets available to purchase.

Announcement date Model name
September 2013 Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
February 2014 Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
February 2014 Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2
February 2014 Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1
February 2014 Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
April 2014 Galaxy Tab 4 7.0
April 2014 Galaxy Tab 4 8.0
April 2014 Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
June 2014 Galaxy Tab S 8.4
June 2014 Galaxy Tab S 10.5

While there are a lot of Samsung tablets available to the consumer, especially when you consider there are Wi-Fi and cellular models, I am not as overwhelmed after listing them all out and taking a closer look at what is available.

My first Android tablet was an original Samsung Tab and if I was to purchase one today, I would likely pickup the Galaxy Tab S and may take a look at one from T-Mobile when it is released later this year.

Further ZDNet Samsung tablet coverage

*Samsung Galaxy Tab S unveiled: Fingerprint reader, dazzling display, and enterprise ready

*Hands-on with Samsung's Galaxy Tab S (pictures)

*Samsung Galaxy Tab S: Can it bring some colour back to the tablet market?

*Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 review: Excellent tablet, but no notebook replacement

*Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4, First Take: Compact and impressive, but expensive

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2 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition was actually released in September 2013, but is one of the most actively promoted tablets on US wireless carriers. This model was the first to adopt the design features of the smaller Note smartphone with the textured and stitched back cover.

The focus of this tablet is on the S Pen with all the great new S Pen features like Air Command, Action Memo, Scrapbooker, S Finder, S Note, and more. There is even a S Pen optimized Twitter application. You will also find up to $600 in bundled content and perks for buyers.

Specifications for the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition includes a Samsung Exynos quad-core 2.3 GHz processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM, 2,560 x 1,600 pixel display, microSD card slot.

Wi-Fi models are available in white and black with 16GB and 32GB models, priced at $549.99 and $599.99 respectively. There is a $70 off deal good until 21 June on the Samsung website. The 32GB cellular version is available for about $600.

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3 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Samsung was the first to launch a 12.2-inch widescreen tablet in the US with the Note Pro 12.2. The resolution of this large display is 2,560 x 1,600 pixels and interesting uses their LCD technology while we have seen most Samsung devices with Super AMOLED screens.

With a display this large, Samsung provides you with the ability to view up to four applications at one time on the large, high resolution display.

Other specifications include 3GB of RAM, 1.9 GHz Samsung Exynos Octo processor, 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front facing camera, and 9,500 mAh.

The Note Pro 12.2 Wi-Fi model is available for $749.99 for 32GB and $849.99 for 64GB. You can buy a cellular model from AT&T for $899.99 or $799.99 with a two-year contract.

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4 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2

The Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 is basically the same as the Note Pro 12.2 except it does not have S Pen support. If you are looking for a large screen tablet to get work done and immerse yourself in media then this may be one to consider.

It is available only in a 32GB ROM version for $549.99.

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5 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1

The Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 has the same resolution as the 12.2 inch models, but with a 10.1 inch size. It comes with an Exynos 5 Octa processor, 2GB RAM, microSD card slot, 8 megapixel rear facing camera, and 2 megapixel front facing camera. Size is really the differentiator here.

It is available only in a 16GB ROM version for $399.99.

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6 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4

The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 offers up a smaller form factor Android tablet with optimization for portrait usage. This means that the hardware button, still used on all Samsung Android devices, is at the bottom in portrait mode. The larger display devices have the button on the bottom when in landscape orientation.

This smaller tablet has same resolution as the larger tablets (1,600 x 2,560 pixels), thus giving you 359 ppi. Other specs include a 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, microSD card, 8 megapixel rear camera, and 2 megapixel front facing camera.

It is available only in a 16GB ROM version for $329.99.

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7 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Galaxy Tab 4 7.0

Samsung announced the new Tab 4 line in April with release of three new models starting in May, all WiFi only devices. The Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 has a 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution display with the button optimized for portrait usage. This new Tab is designed for the family tablet with multi-user mode that lets people sign into the device with their customizations appearing upon login.

Specifications include a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB RAM, 8GB ROM, microSD card slot, 3 megapixel rear camera, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, and weight of 9.74 ounces.

This is designed as an entry level tablet, available only in an 8GB ROM version for $199.99.

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8 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Galaxy Tab 4 8.0

The Tab 4 8.0 is the same as the Tab 4 7.0 with a slightly larger display. It is available now as a WiFi 16GB model for $239.99. The $40 increase over the Tab 7.0 is definitely worth consideration.

The Tab 4 8.0 weighs in at 11.11 ounces, but all the other internal specs are the same as the smaller model.

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9 of 11 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Galaxy Tab 4 10.1

The Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 offers up a larger display with the ability to use two apps at once. The display resolution remains at 1,280 x 800 pixels with the button found on the bottom in landscape orientation.

It is available as a 16GB model for $319.99 in black or white. You can also find an AT&T cellular version for $379.99 with a 2-year contract or $479.99 without a contract.

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Galaxy Tab S 8.4

The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 was just announced yesterday and will be available starting in July. The new Tab S line brings high resolution Super AMOLED screens to the tablet form factor and is the most premium tablet line from Samsung to date.

The tablet is thin at just 6.6 millimeters and the Tab S 8.4 weighs in at less than a pound. The display has a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution and includes support for Netflix HD content.

These new Tab S models integrate the same fingerprint scanner seen on the Galaxy S5. Like the older generation Tabs, the 8.4 is optimized for portrait usage with the button at the bottom in this orientation.

The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 will be available for $399.99 as a Wi-Fi model with a LTE model coming later this year to Verizon Wireless.

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Galaxy Tab S 10.5

The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is optimized for landsape usage with the fingerprint scanner hardware button on the bottom in this orientation. It will be priced at $499.99 for the Wi-Fi model with LTE models coming to Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon later this year.

Even though it is larger, it still will have a thickness of just 6 mm and a weight of 465 grams, which is just 4 grams lighter than the Apple iPad Air.

Other specifications include an Exynos 5 Octa 1.9 GHz processor, 3GB RAM, 16/32GB ROM, microSD card slot, and 7,900 mAH battery.

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