So far Samsung's "Active" mini-series has exactly two devices, the Galaxy S4 Active and the Galaxy S5 Active. (Three, if you count Sprint's S5 Sport variant.) At IFA 2014, the company is expanding its ruggedized horizons into the tablet world with the Galaxy Tab Active, an 8-inch device with the same IP67 water and dust protection, plus a chunky body that can resist drops of up to 1.2 meters (four feet). The Tab Active also includes a "C-Pen" stylus, physical navigation buttons, and Samsung's first removable tablet battery.
Samsung is aiming the tablet at businesses which perform in rugged environments, with additions like a dockable POGO pin charging option and the KNOX encryption system. The actual hardware specs seem a bit low end, thanks to a 1280x800 LCD screen, a 1.2Ghz quad-core processor (probably a Snapdragon 400), 1.5GB of RAM, a 3.1MP rear camera with LED flash, and Samsung's typical 16GB + MicroSD storage combo. The Galaxy Tab Active has the standard wireless communication options, WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC, and an LTE option will be available. The removable battery is a typical 4450mAh. The tablet runs Android 4.4 with the usual TouchWiz add-ons, plus a few stylus-enabled apps.
Though Samsung is quick to point out the protective merits of the Galaxy Tab Active's chunky and relatively heavy body (126.2 x 213.1 x 9.75mm, 393 grams), it doesn't mention what protects the screen. Sapphire surely would have been highlighted, but synthetic sapphire production isn't really extensive enough to make tablet screens economical, so I'm guessing that those rough, tough oilmen and construction workers will have to make due with Gorilla Glass.
Launch date and price are a mystery at the moment, but with all that talk of vertical integration in the press release below, Samsung is probably hoping to sell the Galaxy Tab Active directly to businesses in bulk.
Update: CNET has a hands-on video:
Berlin, Germany – September 4, 2014 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today unveiled the Galaxy Tab Active, Samsung’s first tablet built specifically for business, applying Samsung’s trusted mobile leadership and people inspired innovation philosophy to the workplace. The next step in Samsung’s legacy of innovation in the tablet category, the Galaxy Tab Active employs the ruggedized, portable design that professionals desire to take on the demands of today’s challenging business environments.
“Samsung understands today’s businesses have demanding requirements to enable growth,” said JK Shin, CEO and head of IT & mobile communication at Samsung Electronics. “As a trusted global leader in mobile technology, Samsung is ready and able to deliver solutions built specifically for professional-use, featuring innovative offerings and technological capabilities that are unmatched anywhere in the market.”
The Galaxy Tab Active represents Samsung’s commitment to meeting customer needs. In order to learn what business leaders wanted from a mobile device for optimal performance and efficiency, Samsung engaged in a series of advisory group workshops with Fortune 500 companies. The top companies across vertical markets, such as retail, logistics and transportation participated, providing valuable feedback that went directly into the development of the Galaxy Tab Active. Combining the results of this research with Samsung’s own market insight led to the creation of the Galaxy Tab Active as the first tablet inspired by professionals and designed specifically to boost business productivity.
No Limitations, Increased Productivity
Features of the Galaxy Tab Active deliver complete business functionality based on performance, durability and protection, allowing professionals to work without limitations in and out of the office. The Galaxy Tab Active delivers the full connectivity and meets the “always on” needs of today’s mobile business environment. It is ready to take on the harshest of work settings, and its slim, light, premium, robust design coupled with replaceable battery allows users to work efficiently wherever and whenever needed.
The following examples provide an understanding of how the Galaxy Tab Active is the right tool for users who require performance and durability:
• Its anti-shock covering can withstand a 1.2-meter drop, with the protective cover on, and it is water and dust resistant with IP67 certification. For example, a retail auto sales rep can meet with potential customers in the field and not have to worry about dropping their Galaxy Tab Active or getting it wet. Fields agents of all descriptions will now be able to take their mobile device into sometimes harsh, rugged conditions where they no longer need to worry about exposure to heat, cold, dust or water.
• The 3.1MP Auto Focus Camera can easily scan barcodes, and the Galaxy Tab Active’s NFC technology saves time on communications and work process management. These essential features can greatly boost productivity, such as with a transportation and logistics managers who can leverage the Galaxy Tab Active to seamlessly connect with a building’s foreman on shipping and receiving.
• Samsung’s robust “C-Pen” is installed at the top of the protective Galaxy Tab Active cover to provide professionals who may have to wear gloves, on a construction site for example, with an alternative input option to their finger.
• For those professionals constantly in the field, such as utility workers, near continuous usage is supported by up to10-hour, long-lasting battery life. However, the detachable battery provides a quick and easy exchange for a fresh battery when necessary for uninterrupted working. Also, the built-in POGO pin charging prevents micro-USB connector damage while allowing for multi-device charging when returning to the office.
The Galaxy Tab Active is supported by Samsung KNOX for a defense-grade, comprehensive mobile security solution. This reinforced security desired by businesses keeps applications and data safe in a professional’s own secure space without the need for a third-party platform and extra cost.
Samsung also provides Mobile Care Service with the Galaxy Tab Active that delivers an extended basic warranty period up to three years, covering damage caused by accidents. Also, understanding the important of timing in business, the remote Smart Tutor Service gives each Galaxy Tab Active user a safe, easy and quick means to access technical support anywhere, anytime.
Vertical Market Integration
Samsung’s People-Inspired Innovation philosophy makes the vertical integration of its technology solutions simple, and Samsung has tirelessly served many vertical industry customers with integrated offerings over the years through a holistic portfolio across mobility, visual display and printing solutions.
Today, all industries are tasked with incorporating evolving technology, and Samsung’s approach is to serve each market with innovative products like the Galaxy Tab Active that are capable of addressing industry-specific needs. Samsung enters the business conversation with a strong, end-to-end offering that will continue to drive demand for smarter solutions that meet the unique needs of each vertical market as the workplace transitions into the digital world.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active will come in a variety of connectivity options: Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi and LTE available in 16GB + MicroSD (up to 64GB). The device is available in Titanium Green and it comes with the Protective Cover and the C-Pen.