Samsung has finally given the 'S' branding to its range of tablets and the larger of the two models is the 10.5. See also: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 review.

At first Samsung announced a steep price tag but revised this to match the iPad Air and other rivals like the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet at £399. It's now, thanks to Apple, a fairly standard price for a high-end 10in tablet.

Also see: Best tablets 2014.

The Tab S looks like previous tablets from Samsung but has a more refined style. Like the Galaxy S5 smartphone, it has a plastic dimpled rear cover which feels a little cheap but we like the copper coloured edge.

For a large tablet, the Tab S is extremely thin and light. At 6.6 mm and 465g it beats the iPad Air but not quite with the Sony. This not only looks great but makes it comfortable to hold one-handed.

Although it shares design with the Galaxy S5, the tablet is not waterproof so don't take it in the bath with you. Also see our Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 vs Apple iPad Air comparison review.

On the back are two odd looking circles which work with Samsung's Book Cover. Instead of using magnets, the accessory clips in and won't come off by accident.

Bar the plastic rear cover, we like the look and feel of the Tab S and things don't get worse when it comes to hardware.

As the name suggests, the Tab S has a 10.5in screen –although if that's too big then there's an 8.4 model too. The display is stunning with a super crisp 2560 x 1600 resolution. It also uses Samsung's trademark AMOLED technology which is good but some may find a little OTT.

Under the hood is a more than competent Exynos 5 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. Performance is mostly smooth but we have noticed the odd bit of lag. Luckily it's nothing more than occasional and we're impressed with the battery life of the Tab S with 12 hours of video playback.

You can choose from 16- or 32GB of storage and while there's the latest 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, there's strangely no NFC. Luckily Samsung makes up for this somewhat with other features such as a fingerprint scanner and infrared blaster.


On the software side of things, the Tab S is nice and up to date with Android 4.4 KitKat but Samsung's TouchWiz interface is still not for everyone.

We like the ability to two apps on the screen side-by-side, view recent apps in a pop-up bar rather than full screen and additional features like SideSync.

However, the Magazine UX only makes complete sense if you use the built-in email and calendar apps and cannot be removed if it's not to your taste.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is one of the firm's best ever tablets with a thin and light design, although there is still too much plastic. Hardware is decent, namely that impressive display and great battery life making this a consumption machine. It's got pretty much everything you could want on a tablet, and it is priced competitively against its key rivals