July 20, 2015 Last Updated 12:54 pm

Samsung introduces new tablet models, thinner, faster, larger displays, but still light on storage

Apple earnings to be released Tuesday, and with it the first sales report for the Apple Watch; a bug fix app update for the UK movie magazine Little White Lies Weekly

Tablets are getting thinner, faster, and still the major tech companies refuse to provide users with sufficient storage of media.

GALAXYTab-S2-280Samsung today unveiled its new Galaxy Tab S2 tablets, and it is unlikely anyone will rush out to buy them who wasn’t already interested in a Samsung tablet. Like Apple, Samsung is obsessed with making their tablets thinner, so the new Tab S2 comes in at 5.6mm thin. Apple will no doubt claim in October that their newest models are the thinnest available, but who other than Apple or Samsung really cares?

“The Galaxy Tab S2 is not only our thinnest and lightest tablet of its size ever, it also gives users quick, easy access to a wealth of superior viewing and productivity features,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics.

The new 8.0″ and 9.7” display models also come with 6 GB of RAM, this will be helpful, but only come with 32 or 64GB of storage – definitely not enough for what Samsung claims these models are for, media consumption. Unlike Apple, however, Samsung does provide a microSD slot for up to 128GB more storage.

The new tablets will run Android 5.0 Lollipop – the latest version of Android is 5.1 and was released in March.

Both new models up the size of the display a bit, but maintain the same 4:3 aspect ratio that Apple uses for the iPad, perfect for reading, less so for video (though, I know of few iPad owners that complain about the aspect ratio).

Apple will announce earnings tomorrow after the bell, and most forecasts call for another blow-out quarter. But everyone will be eagerly awaiting the first sales numbers for the Apple Watch and no matter what the number is some will proclaim it a success while bears will say it is disappointing. Anything over 4 million will probably be considered good.

iPad sales, though, are expected to fall again, with sales between 10 and 11 million, below the 13.3 level recorded a year ago, which itself was below the 14.6 level from 2013, which was below the 17.0 level of 2012 – see the pattern?

macbook-select-gold-250Some have said that the reason for stalling sales has everything to do with the fact that tablets are likely to have a longer ownership cycle than a smartphone, and I think there is a little bit of truth to this… but not much. I have several iPads and I can tell you that my “new” iPad (3rd generation) is badly in need of replacement. But Apple continues to obsess with things users care less about – instead of more storage and computing power we get “thinness”. I won’t buy a new tablet because it is 1mm thinner than my current model, and I doubt many others will either.

Apple is rumored to be launching a larger display model of the iPad in October, but right now Apple offers its tablets with 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of storage, making it likely that all they will do is bump up the entry level storage to 32 GB. Assuming a larger model iPad would come with a larger price tag you have to ask yourself if you’d be better off with a 12″ Macbook which comes with 8 GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive for its $1299 price?

Only a few media app updates were released this weekend (or late Friday). One of them was for Little White Lies Weekly, the digital film magazine published every Thursday on the 29th Street Publishing platform.

LWL-printThe digital magazine does not replicate the print magazine, which is published six times a year. In fact, physically the two products are about as different as you can image. The print magazine, assuming you can find it, which I did at a Barnes & Noble, is printed on heavy stock which makes it unique looking and beautiful, though not ideal for photography. The digital version uses a platform that forces it to have more simplified design, yet can take advantage of a tablet or smartphone’s superior display.

Individual issues are only $0.99, so it is well worth your time.

If you can’t find the print version, Zinio has a replica of it in its digital newsstand, though it will cost you $6.99 and is, of course, a replica.

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