Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 review: This is not a laptop

I sought after to love this pill. For months, I’ve been searching for one thing sufficiently small for my digicam bag that does on the subject of the whole thing I want on a day by day foundation. Up till now, I’ve been the use of the Pixelbook, and I favored it slightly a bit, however the laptop simply didn’t give me the extraordinary portability I’ve been yearning.

Last week Samsung confirmed me the Galaxy Tab S4. I used to be frightened to start with as a result of I wasn’t a fan of the former Tab S3, however Samsung confident me the brand new S4 added some new capability that might exchange my thoughts at the complete machine.

This is our Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 evaluation.

Samung Galaxy Tab S4

Design

I’ve combined emotions at the design of the Galaxy Tab S4.

The entrance of the pill seems quite graceful and fashionable, with considerably smaller bezels than the Tab S3. This leads to the elimination of the house button and fingerprint reader, which reduces capability however seems higher. The fingerprint reader has been changed with face and iris scanning capability, so that you’ll nonetheless have a speedy and safe method to liberate your software.

The rectangular fingerprint reader from the previous few Galaxy Tabs made the pill really feel reasonable and old-fashioned, and this new slimmer bezel design makes room for a larger 10.5-inch Super AMOLED show that appears nice. Samsung is aware of the best way to make excellent shows, and it didn’t skimp out with the Tab S4. Its display has a 2,560 x 1,600 answer, which is advantageous for just about any state of affairs.

The entrance might glance graceful and fashionable, however the again sadly seems immediately out of 2012. I don’t know why Samsung insists on preserving this previous, boxy design. I individually hate it. Changing the form of the digicam could have made it really feel extra fashionable, however Samsung caught to its weapons with the shape issue.

Samung Galaxy Tab S4

Moving to the perimeters, you’ll to find a USB Type-C port, headphone jack, and quad stereo audio system. These audio system are tuned through AKG and toughen Dolby Atmos, leading to some lovely large sound. I shocked through how loud it were given when being attentive to tune and gazing films. Its transparent Samsung put a lot of effort into making content material intake a best precedence in this factor.

On the best facet, you’ll to find energy and quantity keys, in addition to a SIM tray for the LTE style. The different facet is reserved for POGO pins for the keyboard case, which is helping to attach the pill to a complete QWERTY keyboard. My greatest factor with this is how Samsung clearly sees the keyboard as a core a part of the revel in, however nonetheless sells it for a $150 top class. This keyboard case is particularly essential to the brand new tool methods the corporate is pulling this time round. It’s irritating to just get a part of the meant revel in whilst you acquire the pill itself.

Hardware

The Galaxy Tab S4 runs on a Snapdragon 835 SoC with 4GB of RAM, which holds up actually smartly for day by day use. I didn’t understand any critical hiccups or stutters in this software, although I will be able to’t say how it’ll carry out through the years. Many other people have reported their Samsung gadgets don’t hang up smartly after a yr or so, however we’ll have to peer how this software plays through the years.

You’ll to find cameras on the back and front of the software, with resolutions of 8MP at the entrance and 13MP at the again. I didn’t take a ton of pictures with this factor for worry of being “that man,” however the ones I took gave the impression extraordinarily mediocre. I don’t need to stay evaluating this factor to Microsoft’s new Surface Go, however that digicam is stellar. I want to see Samsung make stronger the standard of the front-facing shooter no less than. Tablets are actually handiest excellent for video calls, in order that digicam must no less than be higher than the rear shooter.

Galaxy Tab S4 camera test
Galaxy Tab S4 camera test
Galaxy Tab S4 camera test

The battery on this factor is 7,300mAh, which is a lovely large bump from the Tab S3’s 6,000mAh providing remaining yr. The battery lasted about a day and a half of of writing articles in espresso stores. This is no doubt a large plus for this pill, making an allowance for Samsung is advertising and marketing it for productivity-focused shoppers.

As for garage, Samsung gives this software in 64 and 256GB variants. 64GB turns out slightly small, particularly when Samsung desires you to exchange your laptop with this factor, so I want they’d have no less than began with a 128GB choice. You can amplify garage as much as 400GB with a microSD card, however that implies spending much more cash to get this pill to the place Samsung must have shipped it within the first position.

Software

What actually piqued my pastime from this pill used to be Samsung’s new Dex mode. Originally advanced to harness the facility of Samsung’s telephone hardware for a desktop-like revel in hooked up to an exterior track, Samsung has opted to enforce the similar era into its new S4 pill. The concept is nice in idea, however there are lots of caveats Samsung must get round sooner than I even start to take into accounts changing my laptop with this.

To be truthful, Dex mode seems nice. It’s formatted in a similar fashion to a conventional Windows PC, such a lot of will really feel comfy the use of it. That being stated, it’s nonetheless an Android pores and skin, with all of the standard accompanying quirks.

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Because it’s nonetheless Android, Dex has to run Android apps. This method you’ll have to make use of the cell model of your browser to talk over with the cell model of no matter web page you need to open. The Tab S4 successfully stretches the website from a portrait orientation to a panorama one, which distorts pages. Many web pages will steered you to obtain their app from the Play Store for a higher revel in, however they’ll be caught in a portrait orientation, which actually doesn’t benefit from the Tab S4’s display. If you’re the use of Chrome, we propose you toggle the “Desktop website” choice, although you’ll need to do it with each new tab.

Dex nonetheless feels half-baked in this software

A couple of apps felt helpful to have from the Play Store. Facebook Messenger works nice with its floating bubbles, and the use of Spotify within the background is successfully the similar as the use of the Desktop app on a conventional laptop setup. Still, the entire revel in simply feels awkward, and till apps are ready to successfully resize in line with display orientation it’s arduous to peer myself getting a good deal of labor accomplished.

In non-Dex mode, this pill works similar to every other Android software. It’s no doubt the optimum mode to be in for those who’re simply browsing the internet or eating content material, and internet surfing is extra pleasant on Samsung’s personal browser on this structure. Apps will amplify appropriately too. I’d stay your pill on this structure whilst eating content material like Netflix and YouTube.

Otherwise, this is the similar previous Android you’re most certainly used to. It runs Android 8.1 Oreo with the Samsung Experience model 9.5 pores and skin, and feels extraordinarily very similar to Samsung’s smartphones.

Accessories

For $150, Samsung will promote you a folio-style keyboard case for the Tab S4 .This is inexcusable to me, as a result of Samsung clearly designed the Tab S4 with the keyboard in thoughts. By handiest purchasing the pill, you might be robbing your self of the main tool enchantment of this software. Without the keyboard, this is simply some other uninteresting Android pill.

The keyboard itself is simply alright. The buttons have adequate tactile comments, however they’re not as excellent as one thing just like the Microsoft Surface keyboard. It’s additionally slightly cramped, spanning horizontal house just about an identical to the pill. I continuously discovered my palms tripping over one some other. The fabrics on this keyboard no doubt don’t really feel like they’re price $150, however you’ll need to get it if you need this factor to be the “productiveness gadget” Samsung advertises.

Probably the worst phase concerning the keyboard general is it’s loss of a trackpad. Samsung extremely encourages you to get a Bluetooth mouse to navigate the revel in, in spite of promoting the facility to paintings on a teach with this factor. Navigating the Dex interface with out a trackpad is extraordinarily tough, particularly making an allowance for it’s made to paintings extra like Windows. Good good fortune looking to click on on small parts or replica and paste textual content along with your palms. It sucks.

The Tab S4 additionally comes with a particular S Pen, which seems a lot more like a conventional pen than one thing from the Samsung Galaxy Note line. Unfortunately, it feels extraordinarily reasonable, love it may damage at any second for those who put an excessive amount of power on it. This is unlucky making an allowance for it now helps 4,096 ranges of power sensitivity, however no less than it’s incorporated with the acquisition. Unfortunately, you have got nowhere to glue the pen to except you spring for that $150 keyboard case, that means you’ll most certainly lose it.

The equipment are approach too dear, and must were incorporated.

Samsung is additionally promoting a USB Type-C to HDMI adapter to attach your pill to an exterior track, however that can price you an extra $50. The exterior track will show Dex whilst the pill returns to its usual mode, that means you’ll’t prolong the show, which is disappointing. You’ll want a wholly separate Bluetooth mouse and keyboard for this to paintings successfully too.

Specs

  Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
Display 10.5-inch Super AMOLED
2,560 x 1,600 answer
287ppi
Processor Snapdragon 835 quad-core
RAM 4GB
Storage 64 or 256GB
MicroSD Yes, as much as 400GB
Camera Rear: 13MP AF with f/1.9 aperture
Front: 8MP with f/1.9 aperture
Battery 7,300mAh
Non-removable
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth 5.0
USB 3.1
USB Type-C
Software Android 8.0 Oreo
Dimensions and weight 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm
Wi-Fi: 429g
LTE: 434g

Gallery

Samung Galaxy Tab S4

Should you purchase it?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 gained’t substitute your laptop. While the brand new Dex mode gives a nice revel in, in idea, it feels extraordinarily half-baked — you’ll be persistently annoyed whilst the use of it.

Since the keyboard is separate, however just about vital, this pill will run you nearly $800, which is a ways, a ways too dear for a pill with a cell SoC, 64GB of garage, and 4GB of RAM. You may purchase a moderately respectable Windows gadget for that price. The small bits of comfort you might be afforded through Android is utterly outweighed through the mediocre revel in.

Unless you actually, actually need an Android pill, you must not purchase the Galaxy Tab S4. Go purchase a laptop as an alternative. Or an iPad. Just don’t purchase this.

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