All might not be rosy in the Android tablet market, but we still have some amazing slates still coming out. Last year was topped by the Galaxy Tab S3 that made its debut at the MWC 2017 event and this year, we have a new king in town – the Galaxy Tab S4.
Surprisingly launched towards the end of July 2018, the Galaxy Tab S4 is the most premium slate in the Android tablet market and the best money can buy at the moment. But of course, this also means that it comes at a steeper cost compared to its predecessor. The question is it justified? Let’s find out.
Related: The best Samsung phones to buy today
Galaxy Tab S4 specs
- 10.5-inch 2560 x 1600 Super AMOLED display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB or 256GB storage expandable storage
- 13MP main camera
- 8MP front camera
- 7300mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
Bigger, 16:10 display screen
The outgoing Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has a 9.7-inch display real estate and although not so bad, you are getting a bigger panel on the Galaxy Tab S4. Even better is Samsung has ditched the 4:3 aspect ratio of the Tab S3 in favor of 16:10 that was popular between 2003 and 2010.
To put it into perspective, the Galaxy Tab S4 has a 32% bigger screen than the Tab S3, however, the slim bezels mean the duo is nearly the same size. With a bigger screen, you should have more room to use the S Pen that comes along with the device.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 comes with four AKG-tuned speakers with Dolby Atmos sound that promise immersive audio experiences whenever watching a video or when simply listening to audio on the slate. Despite shipping with a USB-C port for charging, the Tab S4 still keeps the 3.5mm audio jack, which is pretty cool at a time when most OEMs are ditching the feature.
No fingerprint scanner
Biometric authentication is taking another angle. Gone is the tried and trusted fingerprint scanning technology and in comes the future – facial recognition. To unlock your Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, you can turn to iris scanning, face unlock or the traditional pattern/password/passcode model. Whichever suits your needs!
Considering that premium tablets are often directed at business consumers who are usually privacy sensitive, it says a lot about the level of trust Samsung has in its new facial recognition technology on the Tab S4. Still, some people might be put off by the missing fingerprint scanner.
You don’t need a dock to run DeX
Just like in the case of the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung has eliminated the need for a DeX dock in order to turn the Galaxy Tab S4 into a personal PC. This time, the DeX UI has a place right in the Tab S4’s software where you can either turn it on manually or with the help of a Samsung Book Cover Keyboard accessory that auto-turns it on once connected to the tablet. One downside, though, is that the keyboard is quite pricey at $150, but Samsung has a 50% discount for those who buy the keyboard alongside the Tab S4. The offer will end on September 8, 2018.
What DeX mode basically does is replace the traditional Android UI with a desktop-like UI, allowing you to do things like you’d do on a PC. For instance, you can open multiple apps/windows at once, drag content around, use keyboard shortcuts, and lots of other stuff.
You can use the Galaxy Tab S4 as a smart display
We’ve seen several smart displays come to life this year, but Lenovo’s Smart Display stands out. However, you don’t have to buy it if planning to get the Galaxy Tab S4. This is because with the help of what Samsung calls Daily Board mode, you can easily turn the Tab S4 into a smart display, but of course, it won’t be as powerful as the dedicated smart displays. To achieve this, the tablet should be plugged into the Charging Dock accessory that Samsung is selling separately, after which it will automatically enter Daily Board mode.
In this mode, the Galaxy Tab S4 will display things like weather, date, time, favorite photos and other stuff while at the same time charging, which is typical of a smart display.
You get a free S Pen
The Galaxy Tab S3 has an S Pen stylus and it was obvious the Tab S4 will also get one. Like the Galaxy Note series, the Tab S4 S Pen is available as part of the device’s package and it’s quite big and weighs 9.1 grams, however, it doesn’t come any close to matching the powered S Pen on the Note 9.
Still, the S Pen is the device that will help you bring the best out of the Galaxy Tab S4, especially when it comes to productivity. For business users, you’ll find jotting down notes on the slate using the stylus quite a handy feature.
You can turn it into a giant touchpad
Connect the Galaxy Tab S4 to an external monitor and you have a giant touchpad. Even better is that using the S Pen, you can easily turn the Tab S4 into a Wacom tablet, but the best part is that you can continue using the tablet in Android mode while doing something else on the big screen. No, you won’t have to rely on the touchscreen for navigation when there’s Bluetooth mouse support.
Android Pie is a go!
The Tab S4 runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box and while we know it may take quite long, you can be sure that Android Pie update will arrive on the tablet at some point in future. To keep an eye on the Tab S4’s software update developments, hit the link below.
Galaxy Tab S4 price and availability
Following its launch, the Galaxy Tab S4 started selling in the U.S. beginning August 10 priced at $650 for the base model and goes all the way to $750 for the 256GB variant. You can grab yours through Samsung’s official website, Amazon or Best Buy. If you want an LTE version, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular are among your options.
In the UK, the Tab S4 has a price tag of £599 for the base model and for those in India, the wait is still on. At the moment, the Tab S3 has a price tag of INR 47,990, which is about $690.
So, what do you think about the Galaxy Tab S4?