|Samsung Galaxy Tab S2||Apple iPad Air 2|
|Display||9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 Super AMOLED display||9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 Retina display|
|Processor||Octa-core processor (quad 1.9Ghz + quad 1.3GHz)||Apple A8X processor|
|Cameras||8-MP rear, 2.1-MP front||8-MP rear, 1.2-MP front|
|Size and Weight||9.3 x 6.7 x 0.22 inches, 0.86 pounds||9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 inches, 0.96 pounds|
|Battery||5,870-mAh battery||27.3-watt-hour battery|
|Special Features||Multitasking, fingerprint scanner||Apple Pay, fingerprint scanner, Continuity with Mac devices|
Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Tab S2, a super-thin and light tablet seemingly built to challenge the iPad Air 2. Compared to its predecessor, the Tab S2 sports a thinner frame, a wealth of multitasking options and an AMOLED display that promises to be more colorful than before. The Tab S2 will be released in August, but Samsung hasn't yet revealed the price.
With Apple's iPad Air 2 reigning supreme as one of the best slates on the market, the S2 has its work cut out for it. Here's an early look at how the two tablets stack up.
If you need further proof that thin is in when it comes to tablets, look no further than these two slates. The iPad Air 2 made a big splash with its super-slim 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24-inch design, but the Tab S2 is even thinner at 9.3 x 6.7 x 0.22 inches. The 0.86-pound Tab 2 is also lighter than the 0.96-pound Air.
The Tab 2 comes in white and black, while the iPad Air 2 comes in Space Gray, Silver, and, if you're fancy, Gold.
The Tab 2 sports a 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 Super AMOLED display, and Samsung is promising better contrast and a rich color gamut that displays 94 percent of the Adobe RGB spectrum.
Samsung's tablet matches the iPad Air 2's 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 Retina display pixel-for-pixel. Apple's Retina display and Samsung's AMOLED screen each have their own benefits, but both have proven to be impressively bright and colorful in our testing.
The Tab 2 is built to be a multitasking monster, sporting common Samsung features such as Multi-Window for running two apps at once and Pop-Up Window for running apps in floating, moveable windows. The slate comes loaded with Microsoft Office Solutions , as well as 100GB of OneDrive storage for two years. The Tab 2 has a fingerprint reader for securely unlocking the slate, as does the Air 2.
The iPad Air 2 is more of a lifestyle device, with features that include Apple Pay for ordering items with your fingerprint. It works seamlessly across all Apple devices thanks to Continuity, which allows you to do things like start an email on your iPad and finish on your Mac, or answer your iPhone's calls on your tablet. The Air 2's multitasking capabilities are currently sparse, but will be beefed up with such upcoming iOS 9 features as Split Screen and Picture in Picture.
The Galaxy Tab S2 sports a Exynos 5433 octa-core processor (four 1.9-GHz cores and four 1.3-GHz cores), sports 3GB of RAM and packs an 8-MP rear camera with a 2.1-MP selfie shooter. The tablet comes in 32GB and 64GB variations, both of which can be expanded to 128GB via microSD. The slates run Android 5.0 Lollipop.
The Air 2 touts Apple's A8X processor with an 8-MP rear camera and a slightly less sharp 1.2-MP front sensor. The slate ships in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB variations, and runs Apple's iOS 8 software. (iOS 9 is coming this fall).
The Galaxy Tab S2 is shaping up to be a worthy contender to the iPad Air 2's throne. Samsung's new tablet is even slimmer than the Air 2, with multitasking features that will satisfy power users. Of course, we'll have to wait and see how the iPad's productivity muscle improves with the launch of iOS 9.
The Air 2 continues to benefit from Apple's robust app ecosystem, though those heavily invested in Google Play may be inclined to lean towards Samsung's slate. Price will also be a major factor -- the Air 2 starts at $499; there's currently no word on how much the Tab S2 will cost when it releases in August.