As rumours become more persistent that the 8.9-inch Nexus 8 release date is shortly after the Google I/O Developers Conference later this June, a likely rival leaked out - the Galaxy Tab S at 8.4-inch screen.
From @evleaks, the latest Galaxy tablet was uncovered showing off the basic profile that is now identified with the first Samsung flagship phone this 2014 - a perforated faux-leather back cover and super-thin body that obviously aims to upstage both of Apple's iPad Air and Mini 2.
According to Android Central, the highlight of the Galaxy S family, which also comes in 10.1-inch edition, is its Super AMOLED display panel that is being touted as fully capable of Apple's Retina screen technology.
And if the rumours do come true, Samsung's upcoming high-end tab will also sport the fingerprint scanner that the company has unveiled via the GS5 in March this year.
However, apart from the two iPads, the Tab S 8.4 is also poised to slug it out with a fellow Android tablet that is expected to showcase its wares in the third quarter of 2014 - the Google Nexus 8.
There is no doubt that the dogfight between the two will be of epic-scale and below are the five ways that the pure Android device will emerge as the winner.
The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 image shared by @evleaks clearly showed that Samsung's design language has vastly improved. The device is definitely prettier than its Galaxy Tab predecessors but the build quality will likely remain questionable.
Like the GS5, the Sammy tab is surely encased in plastic that critics said is hardly premium. In contrast, the Nexus 8 is rumoured to be an HTC-Google project and if the latest HTC One M8 will serve as the basis then fans can expect a high-end product that protects its powerful components with a metal chassis, which also accentuates its luxurious appeal.
Samsung has yet to confirm what kind of a powerhouse that the Tab S 8.4 will be but it is safe to assume that it will be a toss between a Snapdragon and an Exynos chip. Any of the two will surely lead to mighty processing capabilities.
However, Android watchers are convinced that the Nexus 8 will be fired by an Intel Moorefield chip or an NVIDIA Tegra chipset, which are both in 64-bit computing class like that of the iPad Air. So any of the two ending up as the Nexus 8 engine will equip the device with superb muscle and make it future-proof.
Larger display with portability
Needless to say, all tablets that will come out look to the iPad Air as the benchmark. In terms of display attributes, the 8.4-inch Galaxy S Tab will be in the midpoint of the 9.7-inch Air. Assumingly, Samsung guns to lure tablet shoppers away from the full-sized iPad by offering a mid-sized screen but is easier to handle or carry around.
Google, however, is stretching a bit by opting for a near 9-inch screen, which is closer indeed to the iPad Air thus providing more screen real estate but will keep its promise of better portability.
No confirmation yet but if Samsung will push out the Galaxy Tab S starting in mid-June then it will likely run in the most recent KitKat version, either the 4.4.2 or 4.4.3. That should be welcome but in a matter of few weeks, the Nexus 8 will be out and it will have the latest Android on board - Android 4.5 or 5.0.
The same Android will be pure and free of bloatwares and should readily upgrade to the next version once it becomes available, running on a Nexus device that is. That happening to the Tab S 8.4 is quite remote, saddled it is by Samsung's OS skin and circuitous update procedure.
As mentioned, the Galaxy Tab S is Samsung's premium tablet lines so expect the price per unit at around $400 or $500. The Nexus 8, on the other hand, will remain Nexus, meaning Google will make sure it is accessible despite earlier indications of possible hikes from previous levels.
So on its release date, which is likely between July and August 2014, the Google Nexus 8 will sell starting at around $350.