Productivity tablet wars, begun they have.
When Samsung unveiled its new 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S3 tablet last month, it was clear Samsung designed it to take on Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a tablet that can transform into a powerful productivity device with the addition of a Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. What wasn’t clear, though, was how aggressive Samsung would be in the pro-tablet battle.
On Thursday, Samsung announced pricing (and availability) that puts Apple on notice.
Starting at $599 for a 32 GB model (Wi-Fi-only) with expandable memory up to 256 GB, the Tab S3 sounds, at least, competitive. Apple’s 9.7-inch Apple iPad Pro also starts at $599 for a 32 GB Wi-Fi-only model. However, Samsung’s price includes the S-Pen. Apple charges an additional $99 for its Apple Pencil. In addition, it will cost you another $100 for the 128 GB iPad Pro model. Tab S3 owners can upgrade the memory of their devices on their own; a 128 GB micro SD card costs as little as $17.
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 is a thin (6 mm), lightweight (slightly lighter than the iPad Pro) tablet with built-in pen and keyboard support (the Pogo keyboard is sold separately for $129.99).
It offers a Super AMOLED QXGA screen with 2048 x 1536 resolution (the same as the iPad Pro), USB-C fast charging, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera (5-megapixel front) and fingerprint sensor. Inside is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor and 4 GB of RAM.
Pre-orders start on March 17 and both the tablet and Pogo keyboard will be available in stores on March 24.