Alongside the new Galaxy S22 phones, Samsung introduced three new Tab S8 tablets this morning. Named Galaxy Tab S8 (11-inch, $699.99), Tab S8 Plus (12.4-inch, $899.99), and Tab S8 Ultra (14.6, $1099.99), the tablets differ in size and specifications.
However, navigating this offering will be easy since the naming follows a similar logic to the Galaxy S smartphones, where Samsung has invested a lot in communications (excellent branding leverage).
Each size lends itself to a slightly different usage model that drives the tablet market, going from media consumption and basic app usage (11”) to light computing tasks (12.4”) to laptop replacement (14.6”).
Most Android tablets are geared towards media pure consumption, and Samsung probably has the best productivity and professional offering, especially since Huawei no longer ships with Android, despite building remarkable hardware.
I have more affinity with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra because of its large screen and the possibility to replace a laptop if you’re using the right app combo (web, MS office, sales usage) and perhaps mobile video editing.
Such tablets are more agreeable to use if you need to present visual content. Also, the battery life is usually longer, and they are slightly lighter than most laptops with the same screen size.
The S-Pen digitizer might also be a very compelling reason to have a large tablet. Regardless of what you’re doing with it, a greater surface area makes the pen easier and more natural to use.
Samsung is also using the most powerful mobile processor available now, the Snapdragon 8 Gen1, and that’s a great choice. For years, I have been frustrated to see Android tablets behind 1-2 years behind phones in computing power. Hopefully, that’s definitely in the past.
This chip also means that users will get the best connectivity on the market right now, including Wi-Fi 6E.
Compared to laptops, Samsung’s tablets offer great potential for their camera systems, with front and rear cameras potentially much better than your average laptop.
These tablets might offer superior video-conferencing capabilities with all remote work and education needs. The potential for young students is undeniable, depending on apps or school eco-system.
The Tab S8 Ultra has a better selfie dual-camera system that lends itself to group calls thanks to its ultrawide camera.
Size aside, the tablets are technically very similar, and you can find differences in maximum storage (microSD available), fingerprint reader placement, and battery capacity.
Finally, I highly recommend getting an optional cover keyboard as it is much more productive for any text input. If you’re going to budget one of these tablets, that should be part of the must-have accessories.
These tablets look very promising, with the Tab S8 having the most competition, but as you go into the high-end, there isn’t a lot of Android-based competition for Samsung.