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Galaxy Tab S6: Samsung reveals new top-end, $649 iPad Pro rival

Today, Samsung announced its brand new Galaxy S6, a top-end, reasonably priced tablet that could be the strongest iPad Pro competitor we've seen.  

When it comes to the best graphics tablets for artists and designers, Apple's iPad Pro has long reigned supreme with its winning combination of impressive processing power, a beautiful big screen and Apple Pencil support. But that may all be set to change with Samsung's new, significantly-cheaper-than-the-iPad-Pro, Galaxy S6. It's fair to say the company has gone all out in terms of getting this device at the top of every creative's wishlist. 

The S6 is powered by a top-end, 5G-ready Snapdragon 855 chipset, which, in terms of performance, is reportedly snapping at the heels of the iPad Pro's A12X Bionic chip. It will be assisted by either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage, expandable to 512GB via microSD.

Other key features include facial recognition, a 10.5-inch, 2560 x 1600 AMOLED screen, a dual-lens 13 and 5MP rear camera and a massive 7,040mAh battery, promising up to 15 hours of life on one charge. 

Unlike with the iPad Pro, here you get a stylus included. The S-Pen stylus comes as standard and charges wirelessly. It can be attached magnetically to the rear of the device, or stored in the built-in concave stylus slot. There’s also an on-screen fingerprint reader, a feature not currently found on the iPad Pro. Samsung's AI assistant, Bixby, also makes a return.

There are plenty of features to tempt designers away from Apple here

There are plenty of features to tempt designers away from Apple here (Image credit: Samsung)

While the specs of the new Galaxy S6 aren't quite on par with the iPad Pro, they're really not far off, and the fact that Samsung's new device is a few hundred dollars cheaper may well make this a very attractive iPad alternative for many a creative professional. 

Preorders on the Wi-Fi model start on 23 August 23, starting at $649 for a unit with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (although for just another $80 you can get an 8GB RAM model with double the storage). Early preorders will also see the keyboard cover reduced by 50 per cent when bundled with the tablet. 

If you're not bothered about having the latest shiny new device, the arrival of the S6 means we're already seeing some great deals on the also very capable Galaxy Tab S4. Voted one of the best Android tablets in our round-up, here are the best S4 prices in your area right now: 

Kerrie Hughes is editor of Creative Bloq. Kerrie was staff writer for 3D World magazine before joining the original Creative Bloq team in 2012. Since then she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX, 3D World and Computer Arts magazines.