Galaxy S4 Tab
Samsung’s new tablet is complicated for day-to-day use, but its drawing surface makes up for it
Samsung’s new Android tablet is available. Is its portable drawing potential up to scratch? We find out…
While Apple offers its premium tablet – the iPad Pro – in a couple of sizes and a variety of colours, Samsung is keeping things simple with this new, similarly priced device. The Galaxy Tab S4 just comes in one size, a 10.5-inch display, and gives you the choice of an austere grey or a glossy black body that’s so impenetrable you could almost use it to recreate the monolith scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The minimalist feel isn’t reflected in the Android operating system driving the Tab S4. It seems to get busier with each release, with a lengthy setup sequence offering piles of settings and optional software downloads, and early use interrupting your activity with tips and advice. The feeling of busyness isn’t helped by the new DeX mode, which presents an alternative interface more reminiscent of Windows running on a laptop. You can get an optional keyboard cover to clip on to your Tab S4 to complete the laptop transition.
As might be expected from the first try, DeX on the Tab S4 doesn’t really compare with Microsoft’s Surface running Windows 10, which offers a far more sophisticated pairing of desktop and tablet interfaces. Right now Samsung’s Tab S4 is better at being a tablet than it is a laptop.
What artists really care about, though, is what a mobile device is like to draw and paint with – and the answer for the Tab S4 is “very nicely indeed”. The sensation of drawing is sublime, with just the right balance of smoothness and bite on the display. The S Pen (which is included in the price, unlike the iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil) features 4,096 levels of
The Galaxy Tab S4 isn’t without its flaws, but if you’re looking for a drawing tablet first and foremost, it has a lot to offer. If you’re happy to draw within the narrow 16:10 screen, the Tab S4 is ideal for creating art while out and about.
The S Pen is included in the price – take note, other manufacturers – and delivers a pleasant drawing experience.