5 Things To Know About Samsung's Galaxy Tab Active2

Into A New Galaxy

Just weeks after introducing an Enterprise Edition of the Galaxy S9 that is sold by channel partners, Samsung is launching a new rugged tablet that is exclusive to the channel -- the Galaxy Tab Active2. The Android tablet is the first LTE-enabled tablet from Samsung that's only being sold by the channel, according to the company. "We're starting to build B2B-specific devices that solve real business problems and that partners can make money on," Samsung's mobile channel chief, Mike Coleman, told CRN. Ultimately, the Galaxy Tab Active2 is "a huge testament to the strength and the potential of our B2B push into the channel," Coleman said.

What follows are five key things to know about Samsung's Galaxy Tab Active2.

Size And Specs

The Galaxy Tab Active2 features an 8-inch display, which Samsung said is important for enabling one-handed operation. The screen has 1,280 x 800 resolution with high brightness of 480 nits. The tablet is powered by Samsung's eight-core Exynos 7870 processor and sports 3 GB of RAM, with internal storage of 16 GB and microSD expandability of up to 256 GB. The Tab Active2 includes up to 11 hours of usage on a charge and has a removable battery for extending the battery life. The tablet weighs less than a pound and measures 0.4 of an inch thick.

Other features include facial recognition for fast authentication, a pogo pins connector for easy docking, and a camera with an 8-megapixel autofocus and sensors to support augmented reality. Along with running Samsung's Knox security software, the tablet also includes capabilities for eFOTA (enterprise firmware over-the-air) management to ensure continuous security and control over the devices for business customers.

Rugged Features

The Galaxy Tab Active2 meets military ruggedness standards (MIL-STD-810G) for drops, vibration, pressure, altitude, extreme temperatures and other potential impacts. The tablet also has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning that it should be able to survive after being submerged in water for a half-hour, at depths of as much as five feet. The tablet also features an S Pen that is IP68 rated, meaning that users should be able to write on the tablet "even in the pouring rain," according to Samsung.

Glove Mode

Samsung said it has developed the Galaxy Tab Active2 to include an "enhanced touch" mode -- which enables the use of the tablet with many types of gloves. Typically, that isn't possible today unless gloves are specially made for using with touch devices. The Tab Active2 offers "more ability to use the touch screen with work gloves than any other touch-enabled device," said Jennifer Langan, director of mobile computing marketing in the Enterprise Business Division at Samsung. Glove mode should be a huge advantage for customers, said Marco Nielsen, vice president of managed mobility services at Stratix, a Norcross, Ga.-based partner of Samsung. "If you're wearing gloves, you can easily get to the apps and quickly get what you need to get done. That's a big thing," he said.

V ertical Focus

Samsung is targeting the tablet for verticals including manufacturing, transportation and retail. Key applications include replacing paper-centric processes like enterprise asset management (i.e., for field work such as managing inventories and doing inspections).

In retail, the tablet can replace handheld scanners when working with mobile data capture software such as Scandit, while in transportation the tablet works with fleet management software such as Omnitracs XRS, Samsung said.

"The Tab Active2 will help us better serve customers requiring a fleet management solution that addresses HOS/ELD [hours of service/electronic logging device] needs to satisfy regulatory compliance requirements," said William Simitses, vice president of product management for IoT solutions and managed services at Kore, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based partner of Samsung, in an email. "Not only do our customers get ruggedized, feature-rich, advanced technology, but a device that is ideal for meeting the challenging conditions and specific requirements of trucking and transportation."

Samsung also has been working closely with manufacturers of third-party accessories, such as mounts, to ensure there are options for building comprehensive solutions around the Tab Active2, the company said.

Exclusive To The Channel

The Galaxy Tab Active2 will only be sold by IT channel partners, and pre-orders from distribution are "significant" for the device, Coleman said. "That's usually a good sign that there is pent-up demand in the channel," he said. Theminimum advertised price for the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2 is $419.99 for the Wi-Fi-only model, and $519.99 for the LTE model.

"We think a large number of enterprise customers will see the advantages around this," Stratix's Nielsen said. "I think it's the strongest rugged tablet offering we've seen."

The Tab Active2 is "an exciting product for Kore to offer to customers, as it brings the latest Samsung technology to the forefront of business use, while evolving tablet capabilities for a new generation of business users," Simitses said.