Samsung’s new Tab S2 tablet is thinner and lighter than its key rival, the Apple iPad Air 2, and now it’s ready to engage in battle in the U.S. market. On Wednesday, Samsung announced pricing and availability for the 9.7-inch and 8.0-inch tablets.
Preorders for the new slabs starts today, with arrival set for September 3. The larger Tab S2 will start at $499.99 for the 32 GB model (Wi-Fi only) and the 8-inch tablet will list for $399.99. Both come in black, white and gold. Samsung will also sell Wi-Fi and LTE versions through, AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, T-Mobile and Verizon, which may be the only one with the white model. Each features a microSD slot to upgrade storage.
Samsung unveiled the new tablet models earlier this summer. Both were notable for their weight: 9.4 ounces for the 8-inch device and 13.8 for the 9.7-inch, which is a couple of ounces lighter than the iPad Air 2. Both tablets are 5.6 mm thick. The iPad Air 2 is, by contrast 6.1 mm.
Each tablet has an octa-core CPU and will run Android 5.0 (Lollipop). No word on if they will automatically get updated to Marshmallow (Android 6.0) when it becomes available.
The new Samsung devices feature, essentially, the exact same cameras: an 8 megapixel camera on the back and 5 megapixel camera on the front-facing. They can record HD video and the Super AMOLED 2048×1536 screens can, according to Samsung, play back Ultra HD content.