Samsung’s current generation Galaxy Tab S models are amongst the best Android-based tablets available on the market today. They have two standout features – they are thin, at just 6.6mm thick, and both the 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch models use a Super AMOLED display with a very high resolution and the usual typical AMOLED proper blacks and vibrant colors that seem to pop off the screen. We’ve also seen persistent rumors that Samsung are working on second generation Tab S models, presumably called the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, and today’s story concerns the rumor that these will even thinner, at just 5.5mm deep. The Tweet from OnLeaks also highlights that the Tab S2 will use a design inspired by the Galaxy S6 smartphone, which may well mean a metal unibody that could spell the end of the MicroSD slot for the tablet range too.
We had seen rumors that the 9.7-inch Tab S2 was going to be 237.1 by 168.8 by 5.4mm, but now OnLeaks is claiming that the tablet will be slightly larger at 237.2 by 169.6 by 5.5mm: barely enough to notice for most people! The rumor may also highlight that Samsung are working on multiple prototypes in order to fine tune the design. We are also expecting the Tab S2 to use a 4:3 aspect ratio screen, similar to the HTC-built Nexus 9 tablet and ultimately the Apple iPad. If the Tab S2 arrives and is 5.5mm thick, it will be the world’s slimmest tablet as the record is currently held by the Dell Venue 8 7000 (at 6.0mm) closely followed by the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, 6.1mm.
One reason why Samsung may be able to thin the device down is because they are replacing the processor with the Exynos 7420 unit, which also sees service in the Galaxy S6. The Exynos 7420 is built on a 14nm die process, which means for a given workload the processor runs at a lower voltage than comparable chips built at a larger die size. This means that the processor runs significantly cooler, which means less space is required inside the device for heat-sinks and similar cooling arrangements. AMOLED screens also require less space than LCD units. However, one concern of the device potentially being so thin is that of battery capacity: the Galaxy S6 has a smaller battery compared with the predecessor S5 device and this has had an impact on battery life. Perhaps Samsung will achieve the thinness of the Tab S2 by reducing the size of the battery in the Tab S? We don’t have any further news on likely announcement date or other features, but we will let you know as soon as we do.