Samsung's 12-inch 4K tablet prototype

2K displays like those in the Samsung Note Pro tablets and the LG G3 are all the rage these days, but we all know what comes next: 4K. Apparently Samsung knows that too, and they've already got a tablet that is said to be sporting such a 4096x2160 display out in the wild.

The tablet in question was spotted at the French Open, of all places. Yes, France. TechRadar was on the scene, where Samsung was showcasing broadcasting television live over LTE on a 12-inch tablet that just so happened to have a 4K panel behind the glass. The design is unmistakably Samsung, the rep showing it off is from Samsung, but this tablet hasn't been officially announced. Assuming the screen is somewhere in the 12- to 12.2-inch range, we're looking at a pixel density of somewhere around 380ppi. That would put make this screen denser than the 359ppi of the Samsung Tab Pro 8.4 and the 264ppi iPad Air.

As for what's powering this mysterious 4K tablet, it's said to be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, the same chip that fell short powering the LG G3 with its mere 2K display. How it would handle a panel with 2.5 times the pixels, we can't judge for certain, but we wouldn't be optimistic. That said, Samsung has hinted that we should expect mobile devices from them with 4K displays by the end of the year, and the soon-to-arrive Snapdragon 805 should help a lot in the pixel-pushing department.

For now, we have this mystery tablet with mystery specs and a 4K display. The real question is, who wants one?

Source: TechRadar

 
There are 49 comments

I don't understand. I've read about 10 reviews about the LG G3 and this site is the only one saying the Snap dragon 801 is struggling with the 2K display... Can it be that the device they sent you had issues?

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Dizfunctions says:

It was a pre-production model that they got, so it's possible that these were just works in progress that will be ironed out by the time the phone is released.

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NoNexus says:

They said that they had a pre production Korean unit (on a British carrier) and that could be some of the issues. I would think that another review would be coming with an actual production model. Maybe a mini review with the differences.

This is not the only place where I have seen it though, a few others that I read said that it had some issues, but again I chalk it up to pre-production models.

I will hold out on judgement until I get one next month...

sojibby says:

Not gunna pick up that new Tizen phone ;)

NoNexus says:

We are about Android tablets last I checked...

sojibby says:

yeesh

NoNexus says:

My bad, wasn't trying to be touchy...

Nope I am not buying one, I get to play with all the new toys for work...the major ones at least. Except Sony. They do not have enough distribution in the US for us to bother...

sojibby says:

Just my way of eating my words from last week - that Samsung wouldn't release a Tizen phone for 5 years lol. The very next day they went and did it lol. It's not a flagship or anything but it's still hilarious.

Alex Dobie says:

Everyone that's reviewed it so far has a preproduction device. And our review isn't the only one that talks about intermittent lag.

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slackerjack says:

Nexus 10 demonstrates the same performance niggles...welcome to high resolution panels and lacking soc's

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GadgetGator says:

Hmmm I wouldn't think the battery life would be very good on a 4K device but we shall see.

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MonteChristo says:

That's the thing... even if they manage to keep battery life reasonable with that resolution, it would just make me question what the battery life could have been without an overkill of pixels on screen.

Hiberny says:

I'd be afraid it would put too much strain on the battery and processor, without enough gain visually. I doubt I'd appreciate it enough. To quote an employee at my local Walmart (in reference to the 3rd gen iPads), "I don't see the point in them rectum displays, my eyes at that good anyway!"

But I suppose new specs must be trialed.

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RexMaximus says:

"Rectum displays?" I think he was showing a secret admiration for goatse.

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TenshiNo says:

I could maybe understand 4K on a tablet, so long as the CPU/GPU was able to handle it. A pixel density of 380 is a lot more "sensible" than these 700+ ppi densities we keep hearing about with 4K 5" devices.

-IRON- says:

4k. Pthhh. Im gonna hold out for a 8k screen. Anything less would just be too pixelated for me.

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David Horgan says:

Haha your eyes cant see any more than Apples 640 x 1136 display!

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Bullhockey, I have the Nexus 10, the Yosemite Park 2k video looks fabulous, I know at $300 Australian, what a lot of money to spend ( 92¢ in the US $,) but I love watching House of Cards on it. Even at just 1080p X 1900, seeing every strand of their hair, the details of their facial expressions, the background, to me it adds to the experience. Now I know what your going to say reading glasses cost $2.50¢ at the reject shop, how could I afford such a huge burden, but swallow your pride, with glasses on you can see just as good at close range, as you can when watching a UHD TV in the distance. I love watching UHD videos on my $400 UHD TV, at 39" it seems huge for a poor man, but you could buy the 50" for $600, I hear it even has DVI input, it's great that I don't even need a HDMI switcher, because of the 3 HDMI inputs. My Nexus 10 only has 1 GB of RAM for some reason, but the other day, after updating to 4.4.3, the RAM was 73% empty, go project svelte, look I know it isn't necessary, but it doesn't hurt. Granted I downloaded 22 episodes of Community to my Nexus 5, in 1 hour in standard definition, a couple of days ago, not bad, but I wish I had the extra $7 to download it in HD, on the Nexus 10. Photos look fabulous from my Nexus 5's 8MP camera on my UHD TV, and from Google Plus on the Nexus 10 and that's with 18 month old hardware. With 64 bit, LPDDR3 RAM, 20 nm, UHD would be a breeze, I've done it on my UHD Android TV already, more resolution good, less resolution bad.

neonworm says:

He was being sarcastic...

Ha ha lol, I thought he was a fan boy, or one of the many people who continuously say, that they can't see beyond HD, on this very page. I offered to upgrade my sister from Nexus 7 HD to FHD and she said no !?!?! Tango looks like fun, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of flash, over one hundred Nvidia GPUs, now bring the price down like the Nexus 10. While there at it, make it 64 bit, UHD, Apple already went 64 bit and at 7" the PPI would be the same as QHD at 5". More technobable from Stu.

kenyee says:

If they can keep it around the $500 price point, I'd buy one just to be able to view 4K videos off a GH4 in a portable way or ideally do LiveView off it's USB 3.0 port :-)
But they'll probably price it closer to $1K :-P

Jay Shank says:

Snapdragon 805 would be for 4k i Guess

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slackerjack says:

At least the absurd resolution makes more sense in the form factor.

2k displays in a 5-6 inch panel make 0 sense for two reasons; you can never get a battery big enough to make the device last all day in the thing (without making it look like a tank" and the PPI you're pushing on that tiny screen isn't going to yield the "wow factor" you'll get by having the bigger panel...it looks "fine," but I think you'd be hard pressed to find to find anyone that says "2k is a must" in the same way we all wanted/needed 720/1080p panels (the latter I consider a must for any panel over 4 inches).

On a 10 inch (or bigger panel) 2 and 4k resolution makes perfect sense. Bigger battery capacity (or at least the space to store them), larger field of view and thus realized IQ when referring to PPI....just makes way more sense to me.

Of course, all of this is for not if you don't have the right SOC....as an owner of a 2k panel on ostensibly a Snapdragon 800/801 (though I am on the Exynos equivalent on my daily driver) - 2k is certainly the performance limit for that generation of chip (as can be demonstrated by looking at the performance of the G3 for confirmation). 4k should really start at the Snapdragon 805/810 level...

SpookDroid says:

Imagine if designers and Engineers had your mindset a couple of years ago (about the 'impossibility' of having a battery to feed a 4K screen on a phone). We wouldn't have a lot of the devices we do these days.

slackerjack says:

Its not impossible...just impractical.

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SpookDroid says:

Just like a few years ago it was "impractical" to have a long-lasting battery for a 5.7" screen with nearly 390 ppi. And here we are, with phablets and tablets even thinner than they were before.

David Horgan says:

What's the point!? According to Apple, you can't see any better than their 640 x 1136 display! Haha that was to funny.

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SpookDroid says:

It's true...and not true. What Jobs said referred to their tiny iPhone screen (even as I type this, I can't help but wondering if the Note line has made me insensitive enough so that an iPhone screen is now "tiny") and it is sort of true. At the average distance a person holds a screen THAT SIZE from their eyes, the limit he stated is pretty much accurate. Up the size, and the rule doesn't apply. Bigger screen means you'll usually hold the device even further away from your face.

TenshiNo says:

I agree with everything you said, with the exception of holding a tablet further from your face. You might get further with a tablet, but probably not enough to matter. Most people are likely to hold both devices about 2/3 of "arm's length" away. We're talking about a potential difference of a couple of inches. Real differentiation of distance comes in when you start having the screen "mounted" somewhere (like the TV if your living room).

I have seen more studies that back up the idea that there's not a lot of point in going over ~320ppi at 10". Personally, I question the "sensibility" of even a 2K screen in a 5" device.

There is no need for 4k displays, outside of the "pissing contest"
It's like a pointless arms race. Full HD is fine but they want us on the yearly treadmill of insecurity so we buy stuff and keep writers in jobs.
I'd rather my N5 was 5mm thicker and that space filled with a 10,000ma/h battery. The specs I'm happy with.

MonteChristo says:

Totally agree. Give me 2-4 day battery life and keep your absurd screen resolution.
I have no doubt that if they actually polled consumers they'd find that on the list of complaints, insufficient battery life would rate far above poor screen resolution. So why make this trade-off?
It truly makes no sense to me.

EDIT: Further, I'd imagine limited/expensive storage options would also sit above poor screen resolution in such a poll. Yet, can you imagine what having 4k content on your phone/tablet would do? 1080p movies are what, between 4-8GB? I saw an article the other day that said the the first 4k movie was 160GB? Just imagine the space issues we'll have if apps get updated to support the higher resolution. It just seems like a bad deal all around and totally not worth the tradeoff.

Edit don't agree, I downloaded an episode of House of Cards, 1 hour 1080p X 1900p, at 0.9 GB in 4 minutes, in HD on another device, it took up 0.7 GB economies of scale mathematics may apply here. Phones have 128 GB of flash, micro SD cards have 128 GB of flash, I downloaded 22 episodes of Community in SD, it only took up 2 GB. Blue Ray compression standards are ages old and we have bulk availability of GPUs these days, to do the physics modeling.

SpookDroid says:

4K, IMHO, makes much more sense on a tablet than on a phone (even if that phone is a phablet).

HeyImAlexD says:

I'm all for progress in technology and a resolution that clear is fantastic, but 4K doesn't have the same wow factor for me that 1080p had in the jump from standard def and 480p.

This pretty much would only benefit from the 12.2 and possibly the 10.1 screens, though...unless Samsung finally unveils the Samsung Galaxy Tab 20.1 and the Note 31.2!

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TenshiNo says:

"...unless Samsung finally unveils the Samsung Galaxy Tab 20.1 and the Note 31.2!"

lol. They might. You never know ;)

patstar5 says:

Ok, if someone comments on my comment, am I notified via email? I never get any emails and I post lots of comments. So either no one comments on my post or I don't receive notifications.

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TenshiNo says:

Did you receive this one?

patstar5 says:

Am I suppose to receive email or do I have to manually look through comment section? On other tech sites if someone replies I receive an email. Not for this site.

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TenshiNo says:

Make sure your account has a correct emails address and that it's not going to the spam folder. I get *lots* of email notifying me of replies.

Algus says:

Resolution whore on my tablets? Guilty as heck, right here. I'd definitely be interested in a 4k tablet.

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I'm with you, chasing the Megapixels myself.

steve short says:

I just don't see the point in doing 4k resolution or above. To about 99% of the consumers that will purchase a new tablet with 4k screen the jump in resolution will mean nothing to them anyway.
It seems tech companies are pulling them selves in 2/3 different directions anyway.
Companies trying to push the boundaries of how big a mobile phone can be before its a full blown tablet stuck to the side of your face making the user look like a bad Dom Jolly impersonator all the while having another department make ridiculous looking VR headgear. ...VR was tried in the 80s and was a massive joke. I know tech has had a massive jump in progression in the last 20 years (reversed ET tech lol) but your still going to look like a moron wearing a VR headset. Unless they make you look like Geordie Laforge from star trek. Then we have another division making shit like Google glass which makes the wearer look like a paedo if he/she's wearing them any where near a child.
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TenshiNo says:

What about Google Glass makes someone look like a pedophile? That's the strangest argument I've heard against glass yet. If someone wanted to surreptitiously record a child (or anyone else, for that matter), there are a lot cheaper and move "covert" ways to do it then glass. And those have been around for *years*, but nobody goes on a "tirade" about them.

http://www.centralspyshop.com/video-surveillance-equipment/covert-survei...

http://www.centralspyshop.com/8gb-mini-3-0m-hd-spy-sun-glasses-camera-au...

Also, people are increasingly using BlueTooth headsets to talk on their phones without actually holding them up to their face. Besides, "phablet" devices like the Note series are still *nowhere* as big as old school cell phones, and nobody ever talked about those phones looking stupid.

http://en.showchina.org/Features/45/8/201005/W020100513535930254810.jpg

The problem isn't the devices. It's people's biased opinions of those devices that are based on the perception of what they fear other people will think of them if they used those devices.

steve short says:

Google glass around kids that aren't your own makes you look like a paedo as you don't know when you or your children are being filmed. As a parent it's one piece of tech that I feel is an invasion of privacy.
I've actually seen a guy alone in a kids play park using Google glass and parents have actually asked him to leave the area.
I'm not disputing it's good tech.

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TenshiNo says:

The problem with that scenario is the assumption. You can tell when Glass is recording. This fear that Glass users are recording everything all the time is a complete misconception.

Yeah I would love one if it weren't samsung !

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And by the way u can't have to many pixels if u say u can then u don't have scope eye.

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TenshiNo says:

"Scope eye"? That sounds like something you might want to see a doctor about ;)

It depends on the price point... I'll probably stick to 7-10 inch tablets and don't know that it would be worth a couple hundred+ extra given how good screens are now. I'm not saying no, I'll just need to know more and make the right choice (for me) from there.