Among all the announcements of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Gear VR, and the like from Samsung at IFA 2014, we also got our first look at Samsung's new ruggedized tablet: the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active. Essentially it's a Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 LTE, but with a more durable construction about it. IP67 certified durability, that is.
The design of the Galaxy Tab Active certainly is more aggressive than its wimpy brothers in the Galaxy Tab line-up. In place of the smooth and rounded shell of the traditional Galaxy Tab, the Tab Active has a look that just screams rugged. Looking at the backside of the tablet one encounters no fewer than four different textures, including metal accents at each corner and around the camera lens.
You might think from the way they look on the outside that those little metal bits do something to help secure down the back to enhance the Galaxy Tab Active's durability and the waterproofness of the removable back (under which you'll find a user-replaceable battery), but you'd have been fooled. The back attaches and seals just like Samsung's other water-resistant devices: with clips around the edge and a seal around the sensitive bits.
Like the other devices that have carried the Active moniker from Samsung, the Tab Active has replaced the capacitive-physical-capacitive front button layout with a trio of physical buttons (multitasking, home, and back). The whole tablet is ringed by a thick band of rubber with outsets at the corners to provide extra protection against the bumps and jostles of living a rugged life.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active also has case that adds even more durability to the ensemble, wrapping it in another layer of rubber and plastic, and adding a slot across the top for the so-called C-Pen. It's not quite the S-Pen with all the smarts you get from using it on a Note device — this is just a plastic stick with a capacitive rubber tip.
Inside the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active you'll find a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage with a microSD expansions slot, and a replaceable 4450mAh battery good for up to 10 hours of battery life. The 8-inch display has a resolution of 1280x800, and when you boot it up you'll at least find Android 4.4 KitKat.
It's a beast of a tablet for sure, but do mid-range tablet specs and a body designed to take a beating make for a combination that will have you reaching for your wallet?