Samsung is moments away from a true iPad alternative
The next game-changer in tablets could come from Samsung, not Apple, as an ideal storm of processor, screen and platform coalesces to make the Korean firm an innovator not a copycat. Samsung has already demonstrated its abilities in processors – even Apple would need to consider that, having co-developed the A4 chipset powering the unique iPad with its Korean rival – however the new Exynos 5 Dual raises the bar significantly; in keeping with the rumors, meanwhile, so that it will find its way into the Samsung “P10″, a brand new uber-tablet packing a display that squarely challenges Apple’s Retina tech.
The P10, it’s believed, will arrive sometime in 2012, with an 11.8-inch WQXGA screen. If you have not been maintaining to hurry along with your acronyms, that implies 2560 x 1600 resolution for a pixel density of 256ppi; by contrast, Apple’s new iPad has a 9.7-inch screen with a 264ppi pixel density. At those form of levels, a handful of pixels either way probably isn’t going to swing it, meaning both tablets is usually as easy at the eye relating to graphics.
The 2560 x 1600 number is interesting, because it is the figure Samsung have been shouting about with relation to the Exynos 5 Dual, the newest SoC (system-on-chip) off the Korean firm’s semiconductor lines. Although just a dualcore, in place of the quadcores we have seen from NVIDIA and others, Samsung steps as much as an altogether more advanced variety of processor, the Cortex-A15, because of this – on paper no less than – the Exynos 5 Dual may be stronger than any of the chipsets currently avaiable for purchase. In reality, Samsung says one A15 core is between 1.5x and 2x faster than the A9 NVIDIA is currently using.
So, Samsung has a pixel-dense display – one we’ve high hopes for, too, given the company’s track record in panel technology – and the processor to drive it, but that isn’t the level of the brand new Exynos’ abilities. In reality, running the sort of screen is basically just the baseline. The Exynos 5 Dual is ready to overlay a live UI onto a 1080p HD video, while simultaneously processing a live camera preview feed, encoding video within the background, and driving a separate display via HDMI output. Most users won’t ever require that individual mix of tasks, however does suggest that the hot Exynos shall be smooth as melted butter in everyday use.
Samsung was taking a pasting within the courtrooms of late, Apple turning the company’s own design research against it because it sets up a case of design theft. Performance available to buy can be questionable, with Samsung’s healthy shipment figures potentially masking altogether more pedestrian sales of devices like its Galaxy tablets.
Yet it isn’t all bad news: the recent Galaxy Note 10.1 looks set to construct at the perhaps surprising degree of interest across the original Galaxy Note, and Samsung’s promotional campaign for the pen-enabled tablet means that the corporate might finally have gotten the message that functionality in context is simply as important, if no more so, than how well-packed your spec-sheet is.
Samsung’s big challenge, then, isn’t to get sidetracked by the pure specifications of its new slate behemoth. The corporate must let us know why we’d like tech that in the past it could actually simply have hoped to hypnotize us with.
Much of with a view to rely upon the platform the tablet runs. To this point, the rumors haven’t pinned down OS, though there are two key possibilities: Windows 8 (or, more accurately, the ARM-specific breed, Windows RT) or Android. With Jelly Bean, building at the solid groundwork of Ice Cream Sandwich, Google’s platform is finally feeling on top of things for tablets; our experience with the Nexus 7, which runs Android 4.1, means that Android has – after the abortive mess of Honeycomb – eventually come of age on larger displays.
Samsung has woken as much as context. It’s either realizing or being forced to understand that delivering products that appear like they have been borrowed from Apple’s alternate-ideas pile isn’t good for business: customers don’t need copycats, and in the event that they want something that appears like an iPad (either in hardware or software, or both) then they’ll probably just buy an iPad. Yet the tablet market continues to be relatively immature and, like Microsoft’s emphasis on content creation with Surface, there’s a couple of technique to skin the proverbial cat.
With Jelly Bean, Android finally feels as smooth in operation because it should be. With the Exynos 5 Dual, Samsung has a chipset that may translate that smoothness to a tablet. With a 2560 x 1600 display, it could possibly compete on shelf-appeal, in preference to being the pixelated also-ran behind the recent iPad. So long as it tells us why we actually need it, Samsung may have the subsequent big tablet hit on its hands.