Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Tab 7.7 at IFA in Berlin. The 7.7-inch Android tablet is a significant evolution in the company’s tablet lineup, despite the small increase in size over the prior version. With the Galaxy Tab 7.7 Samsung has transitioned from LCD to OLED and from 1024×600 to 1280×800.

The Super AMOLED Plus display technology eschews the PenTile Matrix sub-pixel technology in favor of RGB-stripe (read Samsung Super AMOLED Plus: Dumps Pentile Matrix, Goes Real-Stripe (RGB)). The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 rocks a 1280×800 Super AMOLED Plus display and should be an absolutely fantastic display to look at. I’ve scoured through the internet and gathered comments regarding the 7.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display coming in from IFA:

Brian Heater, Engadget:

Like so many other devices launched by Samsung this year, the screen is the thing, and indeed, that 7.7-inch 1280 x 800 Super AMOLED Plus display is quite sharp and extremely bright […]

Chris Davies, SlashGear:

As the name suggests, where the original Tab had a 7-inch panel this new Tab 7.7 scales up to 7.7-inches. More noticeable are the panel type and resolution, however, it now being Super AMOLED Plus – just as with the Galaxy S II smartphone – rather then LCD, and 1280 x 800 resolution instead of 1024 x 600. That means smoother graphics, brighter colors, inkier blacks and great viewing angles, though still all packed into a compact form-factor.

Stuff:

Even in the harsh conference hall glare the screen is still sharp and colourful with minimal reflection.

Luke Westaway, CNET UK:

The display looks absolutely brilliant. This is a Super AMOLED Plus screen, which is the same tech employed in the gorgeous Samsung Galaxy S2 smart phone. It’s eyeball-searingly colourful, and looks extremely striking. The screen has a resolution of 1,280×800 pixels, which we reckon will be sharp enough to keep your photos and hi-res video looking good.

Comparisons to the iPad 2 will inevitably be made, so let’s get going. The iPad 2’s 4:3 IPS LCD is a terrific display. The slightly square-ish form factor makes it more versatile in my opinion when viewing photographs, reading e-books, surfing the net, etc.(read iPad 2.0: A More Perfect iPad) But watching HD video isn’t perfect. Let’s face it: most video that we watch today is HD. For that the 16:10 Super AMOLED Plus in the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is much better suited. Not perfect, but better.

1024×768 versus 1280×800. The 7.7-inch OLED is smaller and has more pixels. And that means considerably higher resolution. The resolution of the iPad is 131.96 ppi. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 sports a much higher 196 ppi. And the same type of pixels with RGB-stripe sub-pixels adorn both making it an apples-to-apples comparison. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 simply spanks the iPad when it comes to the display.

Then there are other benefits of OLED. The main feature is absolute blacks, resulting in fantastic contrast. I don’t consider color popping a feature, and would rather have more accurate colors. Here’s hoping a color professional will develop a color management app in the near future. And OLED is thin, really thin.

The reason the Galaxy Tab 7.7 can be so thin can be attributable to the thinness of the OLED display. Because OLED technology does not require the rather thick backlight unit that comes with every LCD, Samsung was able to reduce the thickness, from 0.47 inches on the Galaxy Tab 7 to an unbelievably svelte 7.89 mm, or 0.31 inches*.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 with its 1280×800 Super AMOLED Plus display catapults to the very top of the Android tablet heap, filled with me-too Android tablets. Samsung has differentiated itself from all the rest, even Apple, with a tablet packing an OLED display. If the company’s tablet future looks like the Galaxy Tab 7.7, I think Samsung’s OLED-centric strategy might pay off.

Update: Later, during the IFA conference all traces of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 disappeared. Now we know why, according to Samsung, via Yonhap News Agency:

But Samsung pulled the tablet computer out of the show after a Dusseldorf court accepted on Friday Apple’s request to ban sales and marketing of the product in Germany, the company said.

* Imagine how thin an iPad would be with an OLED display. The iPad 2, with a 9.7-inch LCD, is already a mere 0.34 inches thick.

Update 2: Droid Life acquired a Verizon Wireless inventory system screenshot showing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 with 4G. The tantalizing OLED tablet made it into the system on December 7.

Update 3: According to AnandTech the rumor was right. The lone Galaxy Tab equipped with a Super AMOLED Plus (RGB-stripe, not PenTile Matrix) display will be available on Verizon’s LTE network.

Update 4: Dana Wollman, Engadget:

Remember how we said 7.0 Plus owners shouldn’t feel too resentful of the 7.7’s build quality? Yeah, well, that statement didn’t include the 7.7’s 1280 x 800, 197 pixel-per-inch screen. As it happens, this is the first Galaxy Tab to rock a non-pentile, Super AMOLED Plus display, and man, is it a winner. We could tell you it’s vibrant, stunning and breathtaking, but even that wouldn’t quite do it justice. The contrast here is so deep, and the viewing angles so wide, that other tablets’ screens look washed-out in comparison.

Update 2012.03.21: Brad Molen, Engadget:

What hasn’t changed is the Super AMOLED Plus display, which boasts a resolution of 1280 x 800 and a pixel density of 196ppi. When we first reviewed the Tab 7.7, this was one of the best tablet screens we had laid eyes on; it’s still as brilliant as it was before, but it’s no longer the bar-raiser. No, not even two months later the competition already looks up to a new contender, which happens to sport a 264ppi Retina display. This doesn’t downplay the beautiful color saturation found on Samsung’s panel, of course; it’s just no longer the absolute best.

Time flies.