Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Review: An Android Tablet For Mobile Professionals
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: New Features And Specifications
Last year Samsung released the premium Galaxy Tab S3 tablet as an alternative to Apple's IPad Pro, but with its optional keyboard an additional software magic it also set its sights at some lower-end 2-in-1 laptop offerings as well. Samsung is trying to gear the Galaxy Tab series as the go-to option for anyone looking for an ultra-portable computing device, and this year's model ups the ante with a larger display, longer battery life, and a new desktop-like user interface called "DeX". In fact, you have probably heard of DeX before, if you've checked out our coverage of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and again with the Galaxy Note 9 but now it's available with the Tab S4 as well.
When comparing the new Galaxy Tab S4 to its predecessor there are a few things that immediately standout. The Super AMOLED display on this new model is nearly a full inch larger, but it still delivers vivid colors with great contrast and deep blacks. The larger display increases the size of the tablet slightly, but this allowed Samsung to also fit in a higher capacity, beefy 7300 mAh battery, that according to Samsung, offers up to 16 hours of video playback. The bezels on the tablet have also been reduced to accommodate its larger display and its Android navigation buttons are now on-screen as well, as opposed to residing physically on the bezels like last year's model.
One of the biggest changes the Tab S4 brings to the table is Samsung's DeX user interface, which first appeared on Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones. DeX is designed to give a "desktop like" experience when using the Galaxy Tab S4 with either the optional keyboard, or when connected to an external display. Essentially, when using DeX mode the user interface becomes more PC-like, turning your handheld, touch-tablet into a laptop-like device. Samsung has also included popular programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint to increase productivity and make the transition from Windows easier for users. It's clear Samsung really wants to make the Galaxy Tab S4 a serious contender in the enterprise market, but it could be a hard sell seeing as it's already priced as high as some Ultrabooks, and that's before adding the extra cost of the optional keyboard.
Powering the Galaxy Tab S4 is a Snapdragon 835 processor, paired to 4GB of RAM, and there's 64GB of on-board storage. For added storage though, there's a microSD slot included that allows for an additional 400GB of storage. You’ll also find a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera as well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The rest of the specs can be found below...
|Processor Options||Qualcomm MSM8998 (2.35GHz + 1.9GHz)
10.5" WQXGA Super AMOLED (2560x1600) 287ppi
Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU
||64GB, expandable up to 400GB via microSD card|
4 speakers (Top: 2, Bottom: 2)
Tuned by AKG
Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1, Gen 1
DEX keyboard docking station
Power button, Volume up/down rockers
|Interface (Bottom)||USB Type-C|
||Front 8MP camera, 13MP camera
Video playback (up to 16 hours)
249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm
||482 g, 1lb
||1 year limited warranty
|Pricing||As tested, $647.99 @ Amazon.com
With updated hardware, a larger display, and a desktop-like user interface option, the latest Galaxy Tab S seems like a promising alternative to some two-in-ones, but whether or not it's worth the asking price remains to be seen. Let's dive in...