There’s nothing like a little change in the product landscape to get the creative juices flowing again at Samsung. Ever intent upon copying Apple’s product line down to the atomic level, Samsung saw the iPad’s sales increase and cried out ‘Copy that!”
That’s not a roger that copy that. That’s a directive to Samsung engineers to see what Apple did a few years ago that caused some sale success and do the same thing. Again. That explains why the new Galaxy Tab 4 tablet looks so much like an iPad Pro from 2015.
Pen? Or, Pencil?
You gotta give Samsung some credit where credit is due. The Korean conglomerate knows the value of differentiation. Yes, there is plenty of copying going on because it’s Apple’s job to show the industry which way to go, and Samsung follows. But at Samsung’s pace. And with Samsung differences.
Apple introduced the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Pencil way back in 2015. Samsung’s tablets since then have been copycat-like and the new Galaxy Tab 4 with S Pen looks surprisingly similar to something from Apple.
How does that not look like something that Apple invented a few years ago?
As they say, the devil is in the details, and Samsung continues to push the envelope forward in the hopes that one day tablet buyers will buy more Samsung than Apple.
The Galaxy Tab 4 looks sweet enough. It’s priced at $650 which is a bit of a discount from iPad Pro’s entry-level price of, uh, let me see– here it is $649. But that’s without Apple Pencil. Samsung S Pen is included, so that’s a differentiator. However, Apples $329 entry-level iPad with 64GB of storage and a $100 Pencil seems like a bargain.
The Galaxy Tab 4 has speakers everywhere and these are Tuned by AKG. This display has a high pixel count and better than HD resolution. And, like the iPads of yesteryear and this year, there’s an option for always one, works anywhere on-board LTE cellular data.
Of course it looks familiar. This is an iPad from 2015 in Samsung sheep clothing.
Remember what I said about differentiation?
As close to a 2015 iPad Pro as you can get, this Galaxy Tab 4 tablet is different. First, it comes with S Pen. Pencil is extra on iPad models. Second, it works with Samsung’s DeX technology. Think of it as a desktop dock which plugs a Samsung Galaxy smartphone or the Galaxy Tab 4 tablet into a keyboard, display, and mouse. That gives you something of a desktop PC. And, third, there’s a $150 Book Cover Keyboard which looks remarkably like Apple’s Smart Keyboard for iPad but with better keys.
The problem here seems to be Samsung’s timing. Apple just introduced an entry-level iPad with 9.7-inch display that is very, very good. And starts at $329. Pencil is another $100 but that makes Apple’s low end device compelling, too. Even better, 2018 looks like an upgrade year for iPad Pro models which, if rumor mongers are to be trusted, will come with slimmer edge bezels and Face ID.
Samsung may have re-invented iPad from 2015 but it’s 2018 already. Maybe Samsung should try skating to where the puck will be instead of where it used to be. The school where I work likely will buy a few of these, but we’ll wait until they’re on sale at Costco for half the price.