Samsung Galaxy Tab S takes tablet display crown, says researcher

Samsung's Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and Tab S 8.4 catapult OLED screen technology to the top of DisplayMate's tablet rankings.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (left) and the Tab S 8.4. Sarah Tew/CNET

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is the new market leader when it comes to screen technology, according to research company DisplayMate Technologies. The Korean company's latest slate pushes the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and Apple iPad Air into second and third place, respectively.

The Tab S, which comes in 10.5- and 8.4-inch versions, is the "best performing tablet display that we have ever tested," wrote Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate, in a review posted Tuesday.

Areas that the Tab S displays are rated tops include highest color accuracy, lowest screen reflectance, and smallest brightness variation with viewing angle. The gadget starts at $500 in the US and £399 in the UK, with Australian prices yet to be announced.

The technical review underscores the ascendency of OLED over LCD technology. Both the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and Tab S 8.4 use Super AMOLED displays, while the Kindle Fire HDX and iPad Air employ LCDs.

In 2013, the Kindle Fire HDX tablet was the top performer, beating the iPad Air.

The Tab S' stellar marks come hot on the heels of the OLED-based Galaxy S5 smartphone, which took the top spot in DisplayMate's smartphone screen comparison.

Maybe even more impressive about the top ranking is the fact that -- "except for a single 7.7-inch OLED model launched in 2012" -- these are the first tablets to use OLEDs, Soneira said.

OLEDs also deliver high resolution. Both Galaxy Tab S models offer so-called "Quad HD" 2,560x1,600-pixel displays, currently the highest resolution available for tablets.

One of the few areas where OLEDs trail LCDs is brightness, however. "Both of the Galaxy Tab S displays have very good to excellent screen brightness, but are not as bright as the brightest LCD tablets," Soneira wrote.

Both the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and Tab S 8.4 get 'A' ratings. DisplayMate Technologies
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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