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Tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is a $399 Android tablet with Bixby on board

But is it enough to stomp out a Fire or compete with an iPad?

samsung-galaxy-tab-s5e

The Tab S5e's  metal unibody design will come in black, gold and silver versions. 

Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e aims to be a smart-home controller, dynamic entertainment device and spur-of-the-moment productivity machine all rolled into one. 

The $399 tablet (£310, AU$565 converted), which is expected to arrive in Q2, is the first to support Bixby, Samsung's voice assistant. The tablet fulfills a promise Samsung made at its Developer Conference last November to bring Bixby to more of its devices. The addition also strengthens Samsung's position against Amazon's Fire tablets with Alexa and Apple's Siri on its iPads. 

Bixby's skills are expected to keep growing, and the Tab S5e will be able to do everything -- from display the weather when you ask to controlling devices using its smart-home Smart Things platform. You'll also be able to set up Quick Commands to trigger multiple actions such as turning on your lights and TV at the same time. And, because the tablet has far-field mics, you can do it from across the room. 

Bixby is just part of the package, though. Slotted between the top-end $650 Galaxy S4 that's built more for work than play and the entertainment-focused Tab A, the S5e (the "e" is for essential) is a balance between the two. 

For productivity, the S5e has Samsung DeX support that gives you a more PC-like interface and there's an optional $130 keyboard cover. Samsung touted a call and message continuity feature as well, which will let you answer a call or reply to a text directly from the Tab, even if you don't have your phone. 

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As for entertainment, the tablet is built around a 10.5-inch 2560x1600-pixel super AMOLED display surrounded by four speakers with stereo sound that rotates with the display. Samsung's promising up to 14.5 hours of battery time with up to four months of YouTube Premium and three months of Spotify Premium for new subscribers so you can start streaming out of the box. 

The new streamlined tablet line is part of the electronics giant's plans to concentrate on premium designs and user experiences for 2019, even with its entry-level mobile devices. The first signs of that came at CES with its new Notebook 9 Pro and Notebook Flash laptops and continue here with the Tab S5e.