Samsung targets the iPad with its new $330 Galaxy tablet

With a slightly larger display and way more storage capacity, the Tab A 10.5 offers an alternative to Apple's entry-level tablet.

Justin Jaffe

Justin Jaffe

Managing editor

Justin Jaffe leads the CNET Money team. He is the coauthor of Uninvested (Random House, 2015), which explores how financial services companies take advantage of customers -- and how you can protect yourself. Justin has more than 20 years of experience publishing books, articles and research on technology and financial subjects for Wired, IDC and others.

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Samsung has announced a new midrange tablet, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5, that will go on sale next week in the US for $330. That's right: a 10-inch tablet for $330. Sound familiar?

Yes, Samsung will have some stiff competition on day one from Apple, which sells its excellent entry-level 9.7-inch iPad for the exact same price. And the iPad comes with a really good (though slightly smaller) display, Apple's powerful A10 processor, 128GB of integrated storage and nearly 13 hours of battery life. Of course, there's also Amazon, which sells its super-solid 10-inch Fire HD 10 for less than half the price of the iPad or the Galaxy Tab A 10.5. 

On paper, the iPad's chief advantage is its display, which is smaller but has a higher resolution (2,048x1,536). In addition to a larger screen, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 also offers considerably more storage potential courtesy an integrated microSD slot. 

Here's an overview of what else Samsung will bring to the table with the Galaxy Tab A 10.5: 

  • 10.5-inch TFT LCD with 1,920x1200 resolution
  • 1.8GHz 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 
  • 32GB integrated storage plus microSD slot that can accommodate up to 400GB 
  • Four speakers with Dolby Atmos support
  • 8-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera
  • USB-C port
  • 7,300 mAh battery
  • Google Android 8.1 operating system

The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 offers support for the SmartThings line of home automation products and also comes with a free 30-day trial of Samsung's Kids, a software package that offers child-appropriate content and lets you set limits on screen time. 

The WiFi version of the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 will be available at Amazon, Walmart, and Samsung.com on Sept. 14, with an LTE version, from Sprint and Verizon, coming later this year.

The new Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is a larger, updated version of the $199 Galaxy Tab A 8.0. We reviewed the 8-inch Tab A back in 2015 but Samsung has since made some incremental upgrades to its components. It still has the 8-inch display but Samsung has stepped up the resolution to 1,280x800 resolution; today's model also comes equipped with a faster 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB of RAM, and a microSD slot that can accommodate up to 400GB of storage capacity. 

We'll need to get our hands on the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 before making a decisive judgment about how it stacks up with the iPad and other competitors in its price range. Look for our full review soon.

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