NEW YORK (
Samsung is believed to have lots of new goodies up for release in the next few months -- a premium version of its flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone, a smaller version of that phone, the Galaxy S5 mini, and also a very special Android tablet.
We should learn a lot more about that tablet Thursday night at Samsung's big wing-ding of an event taking place at Madison Square Garden. Samsung is calling the intimate gathering its "Galaxy Premier 2014." The big hint on the invitation mentions "Tab Into Color." There are also carefully posed photographs teasing the new product. I'm guessing we're going to be introduced to the new Galaxy Tab S.
The Tab S is supposed to Samsung's flagship tablet running on the latest version of the Android operating system. It is said to be sporting a 10.1-inch, super-high resolution 2560 x 1600 pixel display.
The big deal here is that the screen is reportedly the first on a big tablet to use AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology just like on Samsung's current top-of-the-line smartphones. Expect deeper, brighter colors and blacker blacks from the AMOLED screen. Other tablets depend on IPS (in-plane Switching) displays.
Some of the other specifications could include a homegrown, Samsung Exynos 5 eight-core processor containing four 1.9 GHz ARM (ARMH) Cortex-A15 cores and another four 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 cores utilizing 3 GB of RAM and possibly an 8 MP camera on the back and 2.1 megapixel shooter up front.
We know the new tablet will be running on some version of Google's (GOOG - Get Report) Android 4.4 OS, possibly the KitKat version 4.4.3, which was released last week, or even newer software adding tablet features specific to the Galaxy Tab S.
Samsung is also believed to be refreshing its Android tablet user interface with this new model. Expect the new tablet to have the ability to run apps in a side-by-side, split-screen mode (like Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) Surface tablets) and to tie-in more closely with its Galaxy line of smartphones (think in terms of Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) just-revealed iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite convergence).
Overall, the leaked tablet's looks are pretty much what you would expect from a modern-day Samsung Galaxy device. Think in terms of the usual plastic form factor with the latest in faux stitching as seen on the latest Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 smartphones. For the record, we're expecting a refresh of that phablet in the form of a new Galaxy Note 4 that will debut sometime this fall.
There may be more than just one device announced Thursday night. The invitation consisted of four boxes -- three of them showing artistically posed side views of tablets. Maybe that means the Galaxy Tab S might be released in three different size formats. Or maybe there are some other surprises in store for the gathered masses. We'll find out soon enough.
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-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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