Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Overview: All In regards to the S Pen

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Listed below are in attendance the a big absolute and dependable opinions for all of you from the most recent yield. With a bit of luck it may be a reference ahead of you create a purchase. Fulfill glimpse Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Overview: All In regards to the S Pen.

Professionals

  • Incorporated, very good S Pen stylus

  • Mild, sexy, simple to take care of

  • Just right battery existence

Cons

  • Awkward show dimension and facet ratio

  • Android isn’t a super pill OS

  • Efficiency isn’t exceptional

The bundled S Pen is a excitement to make use of, however cannot make up for Android’s pill quirks.

In regards to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Listed below are the specifications of the pill we examined:

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Garage: 128GB
  • Show: 2560 x 1600 120Hz LCD touchscreen
  • Wi-fi connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5
  • Stressed connectivity: USB-C
  • Cameras 13MP extensive major digicam, 6MP ultrawide secondary digicam, 12MP ultrawide front-facing digicam
  • Battery: 8000mAh
  • Weight: 1.01 kilos
  • Dimension: 10 x 6.5 x .25 inches

What we love

Samsung’s S Pen is the killer function

Credit score: Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

Stylus customers have fun—the Tab S8 comes with Samsung’s very good S Pen.

Apple’s Pencil 2 carries an MSRP of $130 (and infrequently is going on sale), an important sum on most sensible of the iPad’s already pricey pricing. However each and every Galaxy Tab S8 ships with Samsung’s S Pen within the field—a large win for any individual who likes to make use of a stylus.

The stylus attaches magnetically to the aspect or rear of the pill, and the magnetic dock at the aspect doubles as a charger. It’s an efficient, easy solution to stay the stylus crowned off, nevertheless it’s slightly too simple to knock the pen off the magnets and lose it. This can be a downside the Tab S8 stocks with Apple’s iPads and Microsoft’s Floor line, alternatively.

The usage of the S Pen is a pleasure. The pen has a rounded form that feels just like a normal mass-production ballpoint pen. It’s simple to carry and maneuver with one hand, even for the ones with small arms. If the rest, the ones with greater arms might to find it too small, because the stylus isn’t so long as many pens or a vintage No. 2 pencil.

It’s a responsive stylus. That is due no longer most effective to the pen, which connects over Bluetooth and guarantees simply 6.2 milliseconds of latency, but in addition the LCD touchscreen, which is able to refresh at 120Hz. The added refresh fee cuts down on visible latency for the reason that show can replace each and every 8 milliseconds. That’s two times as fast as a 60Hz show, which updates as soon as each and every 16 milliseconds. This can be a function Apple overlooked to incorporate within the Fifth-gen iPad Air.

To be transparent, Samsung’s S Pen doesn’t do the rest Apple’s Pencil can’t, and I rather desire the chunkier really feel of the Pencil. However right here’s the article: the Apple Pencil 2 is an adjunct. The S Pen is integrated. That makes the stylus a key function of the Galaxy Tab S8, and Samsung’s pill is the simpler for it.

It’s sexy, gentle, and skinny

The Galaxy Tab S8’s 11-inch show, skinny chassis, and coffee 1.1-pound weight make for a pill as nimble because the Fifth-gen iPad Air. The Tab S8 is even a half-inch narrower than the Air, which makes the Tab S8 more uncomplicated to cradle with one hand.

That’s to not say it’s distinctive, because the Galaxy Tab S8 indisputably cribs a couple of notes from the most recent iPad Professional and Air. It’s maximum notable when held, because the Tab S8’s slab-sided really feel, rounded show corners, and pinhole speaker cut-outs all really feel paying homage to an iPad.

There are flaws in Samsung’s copy. The pill has massive antenna traces that minimize into the steel chassis alongside the highest and backside. Equivalent traces may also be discovered at the iPad, however they’re smaller.

Thankfully, Samsung discovered some way so as to add a marginally of distinctive elegance: a line of black chrome that extends downward from the digicam cut-out. It’s a easy however efficient contact that is helping the pill stick out from its friends and assists in keeping consideration clear of the sizable antenna traces.

Cast battery existence

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 upside down on a table

Credit score: Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

If you are no longer a heavy pill consumer, be expecting the Tab S8’s battery to final round two to 3 days.

I wasn’t certain what to anticipate from the Galaxy Tab S8’s staying power. The 8000mAh isn’t massive for a contemporary pill and high-refresh presentations, such because the 120Hz touchscreen at the Tab S8, generally tend to empty the battery temporarily. Fortunately, my worries have been unfounded.

Battery existence was once by no means an issue in my time with the software. Surfing the internet, viewing YouTube, enhancing paperwork, and jotting notes with the S Pen tired slightly greater than 10% an hour, striking real-world battery existence between 8 and ten hours. That is very similar to my revel in with Apple’s 11-inch iPad Professional.

Sleep mode is gentle on battery intake, draining not more than 5% every night time. Apple’s iPads carry out higher on this house, draining a pair % an evening, however the Tab S8 plays neatly for an Android software.

The mix of forged battery existence in energetic use and a power-sipping sleep mode way you received’t must rate the software continuously in case you’re no longer a heavy consumer. I discovered myself charging as soon as each and every two to 3 days for the majority of my time with the software.

The audio system sound nice

Most present capsules have excellent audio system, however the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is going above and past. It has an AKG-branded quad-speaker machine that incorporates audio system on no longer most effective the highest and backside but in addition on one edge.

It’s a suave design. The association of the audio system supplies a resounding sound degree with a powerful sense of a left, proper, and heart channel, one thing the Fifth-gen iPad Air doesn’t take care of as neatly. It’s additionally just about unimaginable to completely quilt the audio system whilst protecting the software. This complements real-world audio efficiency when the usage of the Tab S8 like, neatly, a pill.

The audio high quality is excellent, if no longer exceptional. The audio system are so loud that the usage of them at most is incessantly slightly uncomfortable, however the oomph comes in handy if you wish to fill a small room with track. Discussion and different spoken content material come throughout sturdy and crisp. Track may be usually transparent, however bass-heavy track can reverberate unpleasantly inside the pill and muddy the mid-range.

However be mindful: this isn’t an enormous pill. The Galaxy Tab S8’s audio efficiency is superb for its dimension.

What we don’t like

The 11-inch show is awkward

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 display turned on.

Credit score: Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

The Tab S8’s 11.1-inch display is slightly too slender to make use of some packages correctly.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 has an 11-inch touchscreen with a answer of 2560 x 1600. That’s a 16:10 facet ratio which, when held in portrait orientation for pill use, is taller and extra slender than the 4:3 facet ratio of Apple’s iPad, however shorter and wider than the 21:9 facet ratio of many trendy Android telephones. This turns into an issue.

Believe a commonplace use case: internet surfing. As a result of its unusual facet ratio, internet pages incessantly really feel slender and constrained at the horizontal axis. Textual content is every now and then rendered slightly smaller than what’s at ease however, in different instances, a internet web page will default to a cellular view, wherein case the entirety might seem too massive.

Paperwork, akin to PDFs and Phrase paperwork, additionally really feel odd. Maximum PDF paperwork are created for a much wider, shorter layout, so those paperwork have compatibility unusually at the Tab S8’s show. Viewing the file on the default stage of zoom incessantly ends up in textual content that’s too small. You’ll zoom in, however this implies you must scroll horizontally whilst studying the file.

It’s a an identical tale with apps. Open the menu bar in Gmail, for instance, and also you’re unexpectedly left with an overly narrow e mail view with textual content that doesn’t alter itself to suit the brand new area. Google Power, alternatively, defaults to a smartphone-optimized view with outsized icons.

It’s an enormous sadness that Google’s personal apps nonetheless fail to scale neatly on capsules in 2022, however right here we’re.

Android isn’t a super pill OS

Android’s pill woes are in part addressed through Samsung’s bundled device. The corporate has a substitute for just about each and every app within the Android ecosystem—there’s even another internet browser known as “Web.”

Many of those possible choices are efficient. Samsung’s photograph, record control, and digicam apps are all higher than the ones equipped through Google. They’ve an interface higher optimized for the software’s facet ratio, plus further choices explicit to the software.

I particularly just like the Notes app, which may also be summoned at any time through touching a shortcut at the aspect of the display. The shortcut most effective responds to the S Pen, so by chance activating it’s hardly a subject matter, and allows you to temporarily jot down a be aware whilst appearing any other activity.

Nonetheless, there’s most effective such a lot Samsung can do, and Android’s record of pill mode woes stays lengthy. Except for the website online, file, and app facet ratio and improve problems already mentioned, Android struggles with lackluster mouse improve, a disappointing default keyboard with lackluster integrations, and complicated multi-tasking.

Samsung’s answers include a catch: They’re easiest when used with a Samsung account. That’s no longer a subject matter for Samsung superfans, however the corporate’s ecosystem of products and services and gadgets isn’t as interesting, or as extensively to be had, as the ones from Apple, Google, and Microsoft. You wish to have to possess a Samsung pill, smartphone, and computer to completely admire the corporate’s ecosystem. Most of the people don’t.

Efficiency is ok, however a long way in the back of the iPad Air

The Galaxy Tab S8 turned on

Credit score: Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

The Tab 8 is speedy sufficient, but when you wish to have extra velocity, take a look at any of the iPads.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is powered through Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a brand new design that has 3 various kinds of processor cores. It has a unmarried efficiency core, 3 “mid” cores, and 4 potency cores. Samsung pairs this new chip with a good 8GB of RAM.

Geekbench 5, an artificial processor check, spat out a single-core rating of 1192 and a multi-core rating of 3119. This isn’t a flattering outcome, because it falls in the back of the Ninth-gen Apple iPad from overdue 2021. Apple’s Fifth-gen iPad Air, powered through its personal M1 chip, can exceed a single-core rating of 1700 and a multi-core rating of 7200.

The 3DMark Wild Lifestyles Excessive check, which essentially exams graphics efficiency, reached a rating of 2306. That is higher than the Ninth-gen iPad however as soon as once more a long way in the back of the iPad Air with Apple M1 chip.

I struggled to note an important efficiency distinction in real-world use. Internet pages, Phrase paperwork, and apps open in a flash and whiz through when switching between them. Even enhancing a smartphone photograph or sorting via a big PDF is buttery easy. Video games like Asphalt 9 and Alto’s Odyssey performed with out a hitch.

Even so, the numerous hole between the Fifth-gen iPad Air and the Galaxy Tab S8 is tricky to forget about. I be expecting the general public received’t realize it as a rule. However what about two years from now, when new apps are extra not easy? What about 3, or 4? The iPad Air is extra future-proof.

The cameras aren’t nice

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 has a 13MP rear-facing major digicam joined through a 6MP ultrawide digicam. They take applicable footage, however they don’t stand out when in comparison to footage from contemporary iPad Air and Professional capsules. This most probably comes all the way down to symbol processing greater than uncooked technical features, as Apple’s Fifth-gen iPad Air has a 12MP rear-facing digicam. A 12MP front-facing digicam may be integrated and takes usable, regardless that unremarkable, selfies.

You received’t to find any of the extra complex options chances are you’ll be expecting. Video recording is proscribed to 4K at 30fps with the rear-facing digicam or 1080p 30fps at the front-facing digicam. Portrait mode is to be had however elementary with not one of the complex lighting fixtures and clear out results commonplace on smartphones. Gradual-motion video is absent and HDR is most effective to be had for footage.

The Galaxy Tab S8 does improve something the Air does no longer: facial reputation login with the front-facing digicam. It’s no longer dependable, alternatively, and might annoy as incessantly because it is helping. A fingerprint sensor, to be had at the chronic button, proved faster and extra dependable than facial reputation.

Must you purchase it?

Perhaps, however Apple’s iPad Air Fifth-Gen is the simpler pill

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 camera.

Credit score: Reviewed / Matthew S. Smith

The cameras don’t seem to be spectacular, however a minimum of the Tab S8 has facial reputation—one thing the iPad Air and iPad Professional don’t have.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 is a positive pill in spite of the quirks of its show facet ratio and the constraints of the Android working machine. It’s bundled with a very good stylus, is straightforward to take care of or pack for trip, and has sturdy battery existence. I loved my time with the pill.

But the Galaxy Tab S8 is difficult to suggest. It’s slower than Apple’s Fifth-gen iPad Air, is saddled with a much less spectacular app ecosystem, and struggles inside the boundaries of Android.

Longevity may be a subject matter. I’m assured the Fifth-gen Air might be helpful in 5 years (my non-public pill is a 2017 iPad Professional 10.5, and it really works nice). Samsung, against this, has a tendency to improve its capsules for just a few years.

The Galaxy Tab S8 will enchantment to Android fanatics who desire a forged pill and a super stylus at a cheap value. If you happen to’re no longer allergic to Apple, alternatively, an iPad is a better option.

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Costs have been correct on the time this newsletter was once revealed however might trade over the years.

Meet the tester

Matthew S. Smith

Matthew S. Smith

Contributor


@Matt_on_tech

Matthew S. Smith is a veteran tech journalist and general-purpose PC {hardware} nerd. Previously the Lead Editor of Evaluations at Virtual Traits, he has over a decade of revel in protecting PC {hardware}. Matt incessantly flies the digital skies in Microsoft Flight Simulator and is on a quest to develop the easiest heirloom tomato.

See all of Matthew S. Smith’s opinions

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