[Interview] “A-OK Whether It’s a Rainy Day or a Sunny Day.” The Behind-the-Scenes Story of Developing the Water- and Dust-Resistant Feature and Vision Booster Technology for Galaxy Tab S9Share open/close
Tablets combine the unique capabilities of a smartphone and a laptop — offering users the best of both worlds in a single device. In the early days of tablets, users often had to be careful as the device could easily break if dropped or experience lags in performance if used outside for too long.
Given these concerns, Samsung Electronics has continued to enhance its tablets with each generation. The company’s new Galaxy Tab S9 series is its most powerful and durable iteration yet, featuring IP68-rated water- and dust-resistant1 capabilities to endure the roughest outdoor elements. For unparalleled image quality, upgraded Vision Booster technology adjusts screen brightness based on surrounding lighting conditions to make the Galaxy Tab S9 series the perfect companion for both indoor and outdoor activities.
Samsung Newsroom sat down with Jingyu Hwang from the New Computing (NC) Mechanical R&D Group and Wooseok Ko from the Display Group at Samsung Electronics to learn more about the creation behind the Galaxy Tab S9 series and discuss how the device came to be.
A Tablet Built To Take on the Elements
The Galaxy Tab S9 series is equipped with water- and dust-resistant capabilities — the first among the Galaxy Tab S series. When developing the tablet, Samsung aimed to create a durable product that offers the same peak performance as its other devices. “Previous tablets that had water or dust resistance emphasized the physical durability of the product and focused less on the device’s other specifications,” said Jingyu Hwang, who was responsible for the mechanical structure, parts design and engineering of the Galaxy Tab S9 series. “The Galaxy Tab S9 series boasts high performance and a large screen, so users can freely enjoy their tablet anytime, anywhere.”
The Galaxy Tab S9 series has earned a IP68-rating certification across all models — a standard set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).2 The IP68 rating is granted to devices that earned a dust-resistant rating of 6 for protection against external solid particles and a water-resistant rating of 8 to last up to 30 minutes in a maximum depth of 1.5 meters. With this rating, users can worry less about taking their tablets into damp places, such as next to the kitchen sink while cooking or outside while camping.
As thinner and lighter tablets become the industry standard, keeping the Galaxy Tab S9 series’ design slim while making it resistant to water and dust was difficult. “When incorporating water- and dust-resistant features, making some parts bigger or adding new parts was inevitable. We had to utilize a variety of new technologies when developing the Galaxy Tab S9 series, including designing a new internal structure to seamlessly house all the necessary water-resistant elements within the body. We also developed numerous new parts for it,” explained Hwang.
When making the water-resistant microphone, Samsung used highly adhesive materials that can withstand water pressure as well as a membrane3 material that is permeable to air but not water. The company also applied a silicon rubber material to seal the speaker and utilized a dispensing method, in which a urethane-based material is applied to parts and then solidified, for the USB port. Through the utmost attention to detail, the Galaxy Tab S9 series came to life.
Crystal Clear Viewing With Enhanced Display Technologies
In addition to its water- and dust-resistant capabilities, the Galaxy Tab S9 series features lifelike image quality on a wide display. The Galaxy Tab S9 series comes with a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, previously available only on Galaxy flagship smartphones and laptops, and delivers next-level viewing experiences in the palm of one’s hand.
“As consumers use tablets to view photos, watch high-definition videos and play games, we focused on enhancing the image quality of the tablet,” said Wooseok Ko, who was responsible for developing the display of the Galaxy Tab S9 series.
Aside from the brilliant picture quality offered on the Galaxy Tab S9 series, the unique Vision Booster technology helps users see their screen in any environment.
“You’ve probably experienced not being able to see your device’s screen clearly outside when the sunlight is really strong,” said Ko. “Vision Booster technology can help you to see the screen clearly, even under the harshest sunlight.”
Vision Booster technology automatically adjusts the screen brightness and clarity based on external lighting conditions. To ensure all content is optimally visible, Vision Booster technology enhances the visibility of both the bright and dark areas on screen.
“Even in situations when on-screen graphics are constantly changing — such as when playing a game or watching a movie — Vision Booster technology’s advanced algorithm references the previous frames and quickly applies the same effect using specific computations,” stated Ko.
Meticulous Testing for a Quality Tablet
For a perfect user experience, the Galaxy Tab S9 series went through countless tests during development.
The company went through multiple stages of meticulous verification to achieve the IP68-rated water- and dust-resistant certification from the IEC. The Galaxy Tab S9 series’ water resistance was tested during different product development stages, including manufacturing, by multiple departments, such as the reliability and quality engineering department and the product verification department.
“Since we didn’t have appropriate water-resistant testing equipment for the large 14.6-inch screen of the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, we worked with relevant departments to manufacture new equipment to test the product,” said Hwang.
Additionally, applying Vision Booster technology to a tablet for the first time came with its own set of challenges. “The most difficult part about integrating Vision Booster technology into the Galaxy Tab S9 series was ensuring that it responded appropriately and accurately to lighting changes,” said Ko. Optimizing Vision Booster for the Galaxy Tab S9 series required him and his team to verify the feature responded not only to drastic changes in light, such as going from indoors to outdoors, but to more subtle fluctuations as well.
“To provide users with the best display, we tested image quality and visibility under various conditions and held subsequent evaluation meetings,” said Ko. “Testing the tablet outside was crucial since the test lab environment and actual outdoor conditions can be different.”
The Future of Tablets Led by the Galaxy Tab S9
Galaxy Tab S9 series has redefined the standard for premium tablets, equipped with advanced features that differentiate it from previous generations. The developers shared their final thoughts on creating the device and their hopes for users.
“The Galaxy Tab S9 series exemplifies Samsung’s industry-leading innovation in tablet development,” said Hwang. “I hope it becomes a product that users can rely on.”
“Developing the Galaxy Tab S9 series was very rewarding because we were able to take the same leading visual technologies from our smartphones and apply them to tablets,” said Ko. “Throughout all our innovations, our goal is to optimize on-screen viewing for more immersive experiences.”
1 The Galaxy Tab S9, S9+ and S9 Ultra are rated as IP68. The included S Pen also has water and dust resistance with an IP68 rating. Consistent with the IP68 rating, water resistance in up to 5 feet of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. Rinse residue / dry after wet. Not advised for beach or pool use. Dust-resistant rating is tested under lab conditions by a third party: 2kg of talc powder (max. diameter of 0.05mm) per cubic meter was blown into a test chamber housing the device (air pressure within device kept below surrounding air) for two hours. Rated IP6X. Dust resistance may vary by actual usage conditions.
2 Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.
3 Membranes are permeable to liquids or gases depending on the material type. The Tab S9 series’ membrane is permeable to air but prevents water from entering.
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