SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S8
A high-grade tablet with excellent performance and a bundled stylus, but don’t ignore its cheaper rivals. ★★★★☆
128GB, $799 | from samsung.com/au
Size isn’t the only thing that differentiates the 11in Galaxy Tab S8 from the upscaled, 14in Tab S8 Ultra. Where Samsung’s big beast rocks a beautiful AMOLED screen, the base Tab S8 model has an IPS display. You also miss out on Wi-Fi 6E – here just regular Wi-Fi 6 – and the RAM options of the high-end Ultra variants, with 8GB your only option.
None of this makes the Tab S8 a poor relation, despite its lower price. Taken on its merits, that IPS screen is very good. It can reach 480cd/m2, or 565cd/m2 with adaptive brightness on in sunlight. In the default Vivid mode it goes well beyond the sRGB gamut, even covering 19 percent more colours than DCI-P3, while there’s no shortage of contrast. High-resolution images and video look great.
Samsung includes its S-Pen stylus, and it’s ideal for sketches, digital art, annotating PDFs and taking notes, giving you a level of precision that simply isn’t possible with a finger. And if you want to turn the Tab S8 into a pint-sized laptop, you can buy a keyboard case and switch to Samsung’s DeX UI. The keyboard is a tad cramped, but it’s still good for tackling urgent tasks on the move, and Samsung has had time to refine its multi-window enhancements.
The goodies don’t end there. Samsung’s dual rear camera setup delivers better images and video than most tablets, while the 12MP front camera works well for web chats, with expert handling of focus and exposure.
Most importantly, you still get the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor; a very capable chip for both mainstream Android apps and 3D games. Like its bigger brother, the Tab S8 scored well in our benchmarks, with the twosome trampling the Android competition and only falling short of Apple’s iPads. There’s plenty of 3D horsepower for gaming purposes, and browsing is snappy. As for battery life, you can expect over 12 hours of video streaming, while the 45W charger can get you back to 45 percent within half an hour.
The Tab S8 isn’t cheap, and it faces stiff competition from Lenovo and Apple. However, the S Pen and extra storage have to count for something. It’s not quite a winner, but it doesn’t fall far off the mark.