Samsung shows off 12-inch tablet prototype with 4K display

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Samsung is already working to redefine high-definition tablets and put a 4K display in your rucksack. The South Korean company has this week been showing off a new tablet prototype with a super sharp 12-inch screen that’s enough to make a 1080p movie look like a VHS.

Most people don’t even have a 4K television in their living rooms yet. In fact, only 10 percent of the U.S. population will have a 4K TV by 2016, according to experts. And yet, mobile chip manufacturer Qualcomm expects the first 4K tablets to begin shipping by the end of the year. One of those is likely to come from Samsung.

At the French Open in Roland Garros this week, Samsung has been using a prototype tablet with a 4K display to promote an LTE Broadcast demonstration. The video stream shown on the device was in 720p, TechRadar reports, but Samsung used additional windows over the top of the video to showcase the display’s clarity.

“This is purely a reference device for operators to perform tests with,” writes TechRadar’s John McCann. “But the slate in question was sporting Samsung’s unmistakable design complete with the physical home key below the 12-inch UltraHD display.”

The prototype actually looks identical to the Galaxy TabPRO 12.2, and it’s powered by the same Snapdragon 801 processor — which is also shipping inside the latest smartphone flagships like Samsung’s own Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8. It is expected that the first consumer 4K tablets will have Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 805 chip, however.

The Snapdragon 805 is better suited to a 4K display, with the ability to upscale 720p and 1080p videos to make them look better on the high resolution. It also supports the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) format, which offers the same quality as H.264/MPEG-4 at around half the size.

Samsung couldn’t promise that this particular tablet would be available to consumers, but the company does have a special tablet event scheduled for June 12. It may be a little too early to get your hopes up for a 4K tablet, however.

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