Surface Pro 4 not your speed? HP's Spectre X2 not svelte enough for you? Never fear: Samsung's jumping back into the Windows 10 fray with the Galaxy TabPro S, a sleek convertible whose ultra-portable design could win it more than a little love from the Windows community.
As the "Pro" moniker might indicate, this thing feels way nicer than either of the Galaxy Tab S models we've seen before. Samsung traded the Tab S2's soft-touch plastics for a sturdy magnesium alloy frame and some reassuring density. This thing feels great. Just don't expect to be absolutely staggered when it comes to horsepower — the TabPro S will ship with one of Intel's 6th generation dual-core Core M chips clocked at 2.2GHz, along with 4GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of onboard, solid-state storage.
We only spent about an hour with it (with a sketchy WiFi connection, no less), but none of the basic productivity tasks we threw at the TabPro S gave it any trouble. Much of that is thanks to the (included!) keyboard case, which folds up to cover the 12-inch Super AMOLED display — the first such screen to grace a Windows 10 machine. It's totally gorgeous, by the way. The TabPro S's screen runs at 2,560x1,440 and it features all the sumptuous blacks and vivid colors you'd come to expect from a Samsung panel. First rate stuff here, folks.
What's really impressive — and kind of weird at first — is just how non-PC this thing feels. At 6.3mm thick, it's thinner than both the Surface Pro 4 and Apple's iPad Pro, and Samsung swapped its usual proprietary charging setup for a USB Type-C port that refuels a 5,200mAh battery. All of that squeezes into body that's only 1.53 pounds (without the keyboard), which is great news for your bacl. The Tab got 5-megapixel front and rear-facing cameras too, if only because there will always be tourists who seem to enjoy taking the most awkward photos possible. Samsung's also working on a version with a global LTE radio for true 'round-the-world productivity, but there's no word on when those are going to make their way out of Samsung's forges.
Speaking of productivity, the TabPro S is no slouch. When it's time to peck out some Word documents, you can magnetically dock the TabPro into the case and prop it up at either a near-upright or laidback angle. Key travel is pretty shallow but the layout is more spacious than I expected and I didn't foul up too many test sentences beyond recognition. There's an NFC tag inside the keyboard too, which makes possible one of the TabPro's neatest tricks — tap a compatible Samsung phone to a spot left of the (surprisingly decent) trackpad and you can use your phone's fingerprint scanner to unlock the PC. Gimmick? Sure — it usually takes longer than just punching in a password — but it's mildly cool nonetheless. Too bad then that the relative flimsiness of the keyboard dock means the TabPro probably won't work on your lap.
We've only really scratched the surface here, but the TabPro S seems like a stand-out contender in a crowded field of Windows convertibles. What it might lack in sheer power it makes up for in build quality and style — maybe that'll be enough to ensure Samsung has a hit on their hands. We'll let you know: the TabPro S is slated for a February launch.