Samsung today announced the Galaxy View, an oversized tablet intended for entertainment and media consumption. The gigantic screen puts the Galaxy View in a league all its own.
The Galaxy View is optimized for watching video, according to Samsung. The 18.4-inch display has full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), making it ideal for today's movies and television shows. The mega-tablet has 4-watt stereo speakers, which means it can push plenty of air to fill a room with sound. The View includes a built-in kickstand so it can stand up on its own. The stand supports two different viewing angles.
"At Samsung, we are committed to creating new possibilities and bringing our consumers the best mobile experience," said JK Shin, CEO and head of Samsung's IT and mobile business, in a statement. "We are very excited to introduce the new Galaxy View, providing an entirely new way of consuming mobile video and entertainment."
The tablet runs Android 5.1 Lollipop. Samsung created a dedicated "video home screen" for the View containing various content services, such as CNN, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Crackle, Twitch, CBS, Lifetime, History Channel, and others. The tablet also features Family Square, a customized dashboard for video calls, shared calendars, and social networking.
The View is powered by a 1.6-GHz octa-core processor, though Samsung didn't say if the chip is its own Exynos brand or that of another chipmaker. The tablet has just 2GB of RAM and comes in 32GB and 64GB variants. Both models include support for microSD memory cards. Connectivity options include 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy, and LTE, if so desired. Video calls are possible thanks to the 2.1-megapixel camera positioned above the screen. Samsung packed a 5,700mAh battery into the Galaxy View that is good for up to 8 hours of video playback.
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The Galaxy View is enormous. It measures 17.8 by 10.85 inches and weighs in at a whopping 5.84 pounds. To put this into perspective, the iPad Pro -- which has a much smaller 12.9-inch screen -- measures 12 by 8.7 inches and weighs just 1.57 pounds. Clearly, the Galaxy View is not meant to travel much. In fact, Samsung envisions the tablet sitting on your kitchen counter, or propped up in a conference room.
Samsung isn't the first to bring an extra-large tablet to market. Toshiba fielded a 13-inch tablet a couple of years ago, and more than a few Windows tablets have displays in the 12-inch and 13-inch range. The nearest competitor to the Galaxy View is Alcatel's Xess, tablet, which boasts a 17.3-inch display. Like the Galaxy View, the Xess is meant for countertop viewing.
Sadly, Samsung did not say when the Galaxy View will go on sale, nor how much it will cost. It will probably reach stores ahead of the holidays. Don't expect it to be cheap.Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio