Samsung Challenges iPad with $330 Galaxy Tab A

Samsung on Friday (Sept. 7) took the wraps off a new midrange tablet that seems poised to take on Apple's 9.7-inch iPad. Whether or not it can fulfill that destiny and make it onto our Best Samsung Tablets page, we'll find out later.

Dubbed the Galaxy Tab A 10.5, the tablet comes with — as you might expect — a 10.5-inch, 1920 x 1200 screen. That display features a 16:10 aspect ratio and offers Quad Speakers that have been boosted by Dolby Atmos technology to deliver better-sounding audio. And since Samsung has bundled its SmartThings home automation software in the tablet, you'll be able to control all of your smart home technology from the device with ease.

The device is a midrange tablet that runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, so don't expect tons of power. There's 3GB of RAM in the tablet and it comes with 32GB of storage. On the camera side, you can expect an 8-megapixel shooter with auto-focus and a 5-megapixel camera with flash. It comes with a 7300mAh battery, though Samsung stopped short of saying how long it would last on a single charge.

MORE: 10 Tablets with the Longest Battery Life

On the design side, the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is standard fare. It has a black finish on the front and its bezels are slightly thicker than you might expect from today's latest and greatest slates. According to Samsung, the tablet weighs up to 1.18 pounds, though, so it should be easy enough to carry around.

At $329, the Tab A 10.5 seems like a direct competitor to Apple's 9.7-inch iPad, which launched earlier this year for the same price. By comparison, Apple's tablet packs an A10 Fusion processor, a 2048 x 1536 display, 128GB of storage and an 8-MP camera. The iPad also supports the $99 Apple Pencil, whereas Samsung hasn't confirmed S Pen support for the Tab A 10.5.

Samsung is planning to launch two versions of the Galaxy Tab A 10.5. One, featuring only Wi-Fi connectivity, will be available starting on Sept. 14 at Amazon,, Walmart, and for $329. An LTE version that will run on Verizon's and Sprint's networks is also in the works, but pricing and availability on that model wasn't announced. Instead, Samsung said we can expect to see that version "later this year."

We look forward to seeing how the Tab A 10.5 stacks up to the iPad (and our other favorite tablets) when it hits our labs.