In the beginning of January at CES 2016, Samsung unveiled some promising devices. Arguably the most notable of which being the TabPro S: Samsung’s return to the Windows “tablet” market. I put quotes around tablet because I think this device would be more accurately classified as a convertible or a two in one. Whatever you call it, the convertible market is the future of tablets. I anticipate mobile tablets (tablets running a mobile operating system i.e. Android/IOS) soon becoming passé as their functionality is limited.
The idea of the convertible is to fit the capabilities of a laptop into a tablet form factor with a detachable keyboard. An example of a successful convertible is Microsoft’s Surface Pro series. These devices are excellent and come in very powerful configurations that are at least on par with regular laptops in terms of power. Convertibles differ from laptops in the sense that they tend to be thinner and lighter, and the keyboard can be detached leaving the user with a fully functioning, stand alone tablet that can do everything your laptop does. Running a full fledged version of Windows frees a user from the limitations of a mobile operating system. Running a desktop OS means that anything that will run on your PC will run on your convertible (assuming processing power, etc. permit).
The main flaw of these devices was formerly power: manufacturers couldn’t pack as much processing power, RAM, battery, etc. into devices that are so thin and light. This isn’t such a problem anymore, as Microsoft proved with their configuration of the Surface Pro 4 that comes equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, 1TB of storage and a whopping 16GB of RAM. Now, the main flaw with convertibles is price. The configuration of the Surface Pro that I just mentioned will cost $2,699. A Lenovo laptop with these specifications only costs $1,000. As great as the convertible form factor is, it doesn’t seem to be worth nearly tripling the cost of the device.
If you are considering buying into the convertible market, the TabPro S may be your preferred device. The TabPro S looks like many of Samsung’s other devices. It is extremely thin and even lighter than the Surface Pro 4. The keyboard adds very little heft and thickness to the device but makes typing on it SO much easier than using the pesky on screen keyboard. Content will be displayed on the TabPro’s 12.2 inch, 2160 x 1440 display which is just as gorgeous as you would expect from Samsung.
The device comes equipped with an Intel Core M processor, 4GB of ram and 128GB of storage. These specs are inferior to many high end convertibles available right now such as the Surface Pro and the Lenovo Yoga. Hopefully, the TabPro’s price will reflect this inferiority. Samsung promises 10.5 hours of battery life with the TabPro S.
A notable feature with the new TabPro S is the ability to pair it with a Samsung smartphone and unlock the device using your phone’s fingerprint scanner. This is definitely a great feature to show off to your friends; actual functionality is to be determined.
On a personal note, what I find most appealing about the TabPro S is the fact that I actually want to try it out. Maybe it’s because I am a Samsung fan, but this is a device that I can see myself wanting and using. Devices like the Surface Pro sound great to me, but when I actually use it…eh. Devices like the Lenovo Yoga look awesome as well, but I can’t overlook the steep price tag. We don’t yet know the pricing of the TabPro S, so there is still time for me to be driven away from it (forgive the negativity). To go out on a limb, if Samsung charges under $700 for the TabPro S, I will be happy and probably willing to purchase it. Maybe this figure is unrealistic; only time will tell.
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