Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 +, tested: an ultra-thin tablet to stand up to the iPad | Technology

In 2021, Samsung was the second manufacturer that sold the most tablets, only behind Apple, according to market analysis brand Canalys. To face the apple company, the South Korean brand presented three new tablets in February. EL PAÍS has tested the Galaxy Tab S8+ for a few weeks, which in addition to standing out for its thinness and powerful processor, is accompanied by a stylus for drawing and taking notes.

The tablet is available in black, silver and pink from 949 euros. It has a 12.4-inch AMOLED screen —vs. 14.6 inches of the Tab S8 Ultra and the 11 inches of the Tab S8—. It measures 28.5 centimeters tall and 18.5 centimeters wide and is only 5.7 millimeters thick. Despite its large dimensions, it is comfortable in the hand and quite light (567 grams). When using it, fingerprints are somewhat marked on its back.

Given the unstoppable consumption of multimedia content, it is essential that devices are equipped with a good screen. The panel of the Tab S8+ looks pretty good. The level of contrast and sharpness is about right for a high-end tablet. The refresh rate – the number of times the screen is updated per second – reaches 120 Hz, so that the movements between screens and applications are quite smooth and fluid.

Its design stands out for its flat edges and a small vertical rear camera module that protrudes slightly. From it, a black line starts that crosses the apparatus downwards with a mirror effect and a magnet that holds and charges the S Pen. Samsung’s new stylus, included with the tablet, offers a latency of just 2.8 milliseconds—compared to 9 milliseconds for its predecessor. This accessory is useful both for taking notes by hand and for drawing.

The South Korean brand aims to emulate the sensations of using a pencil and paper. In fact, every stroke on this digital whiteboard sounds like you’re jotting down something in a real notebook. Usually, writing feels smooth and natural. The user can choose to have the notes he takes by hand converted to text automatically. Although this option works quite well, sometimes it fails and does not correctly recognize the words. The large screen of the Tab S8+, in combination with the S Pen, also invites users to draw and take a more creative side.

The stylus also allows you to control the tablet with some gestures. By pressing the S Pen button and flick your wrist to the left, you can go back. An upward movement is used to go to the home screen. Waving your hand left and right takes a screenshot that you can write on. Probably for some users these functions do not make a big difference. Although the gestures work well, it takes practice to do them properly. “Make sure the S Pen is parallel to the ground before you gesture,” the tablet prompts when it doesn’t recognize user actions.

A tablet or a computer?

The Galaxy Tab S8+ allows you to use multiple applications at the same time. For example, making a video call while consulting a website and taking notes. The South Korean brand also wants users to have an experience as similar as possible to using a computer thanks to Samsung DeX. Activating this option in the settings changes the interface: a taskbar appears at the bottom of the screen and it is possible to open multiple windows – just like on a laptop. Although there are several physical keyboards on the market that can be connected to the tablet by bluetooththe experience is still somewhat far from the one you have when using a computer.

In addition to a 12-megapixel front camera, the Galaxy Tab S8+ has two rear sensors — a 13-megapixel main sensor and a 6-megapixel wide-angle sensor. For most users, these cameras are probably more than enough for typical tablet use. In general, during the day the photographs have an adequate level of detail and good colorimetry. But the cameras suffer a little more in dimmer environments.

The Galaxy Tab S8+, which is compatible with 5G networks, incorporates the new Qualcomm processor for the high-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The device has 8 GB of RAM and 128 and 256 GB of storage (expandable up to 1 TB with a micro SD card). The version that this newspaper has tested has 256 GB of storage. The performance has been very fluid in all cases and has not experienced any type of lag or delay when running applications. The battery is 10,090 mAh and the fast charge is 45W. Samsung promises autonomy to watch videos of up to 13 hours uninterrupted, eight hours to browse the Internet or up to 139 hours to play music.