During an Unpacked event that featured the announcement of five key new devices, the Galaxy Tab S7 didn’t get a ton of love. Understandable, perhaps. It doesn’t quite have the star power of the Note line, nor does it have the novelty of a new foldable or Blue…

During an Unpacked event that featured the announcement of five key new devices, the Galaxy Tab S7 didn’t get a ton of love. Understandable, perhaps. It doesn’t quite have the star power of the Note line, nor does it have the novelty of a new foldable or Blue…

During an Unpacked event that featured the announcement of five key new devices, the Galaxy Tab S7 didnt get a ton of love. Understandable, perhaps. It doesnt quite have the star power of the Note line, nor does it have the novelty of a new foldable or Bluetooth earbuds. Tablets in general just arent exciting the way they once were.
But Samsungs continued to plug away. The company makes a lot of tablets. Thats just kind of its thing. Why make one when you can make a dozen, each with different price points and target audiences? Its the Galaxy Tab line, however, thats always been the one to watch, providing a premium slate experience designed to complement its Galaxy handsets.
Image Credits: Brian Heater
In fact, in a world where Android tablets are largely the realm of budget devices, Samsung remains one of the few out there still manufacturing a device that can go head-to-head with the iPad. The latest model brings a number of key features, though the biggest of all isnt available on the Tab S7+ review unit the company sent along.
The device will be among the first tablets to receive 5G connectivity. Pricing and availability are still forthcoming on that SKU, though, honestly, I dont imagine a ton of people are going to be demanding cellular connectivity on their tablets as long as so many people continue working from home. When travel finally starts up again, that might be a different story.
That said, the model Samsung sent along just after the Unpacked event is a beast. Its the specced-up version of the Tab S7+, which starts at $849. The higher tier bumps the RAM up from 6GB to 8GB and the storage from 128GB to 256GB. Add in the bleeding-edge Snapdragon 865+, and youve got an extremely capable machine on your hands here.
The design matches the premium specs. Gone is the plasticky design of early models, traded up for a sleek and sturdy glass and aluminum design. Its a tablet that looks and feels as premium as its price tag indicates. Its a bit heavy, though, at 1.26 pounds for the 12.4-inch model, versus 1.41 pounds for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The truth about these devices is theyre no longer designed to be held up above your face as you lie in bed.
Image Credits: Brian Heater
They are, of course, intended to be real multitasking work/play machines. I should note that Im writing this as someone who continues to use a laptop for all of his work, but I can certainly appreciate the advances the category has made in recent years. I also know a handful of people who have mostly successfully traded in their work machines for a tablet, be it an Android device, Surface or iPad.
A tablets worth as a work machine is, of course, only as good as its case a statement you cant reasonably make about most products. Along with the device itself, Samsung has upgraded the case in a couple of nice ways. The typing experience doesnt quite match a devoted laptop keyboard, but its been pretty well refined. The keys have a decent amount of travel and a nice spring for a laptop cover. The leather case also detaches into two pieces, so the back can be used as a stand, without the keyboard present. Of course, the trade-off for this sort of case is the fact that it cant really be used on ones lap without things falling and pieces detaching.
It wouldnt be a Samsung tablet without the S Pen, of course. The peripheral is, thankfully, included. Theres no slot for the stylus (something I keep asking for but never get; lifes hard sometimes), but it does snap magnetically to the top of the device, albeit a bit weakly. Samsung has certainly built up a nice little ecosystem for the input device, and Im pretty consistently impressed that its able to recognize and convert my chicken scratch. Seriously, my already terrible penmanship has only atrophied over time.
Image Credits: Brian Heater
Points, too, for a beautiful OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Depending on what youre looking to do with it, you might need to toggle that to save on battery life. Both models are pretty solid on that front, with 8,000 and 10,900 mAh, respectively, but the 5G models will no doubt take a hit.
Samsung is really pushing DeX hard even harder than it has in the past. You can set it to automatically trigger the desktop approximation when you plug in the keyboard. The interface is an attempt to approximate something akin to the Windows desktop experience, but a number of apps still dont support the interface and overall it still feels clunky. Its easy to extrapolate a bit and imagine how it will improve things like multitasking, but it doesnt feel like its quite all the way there.

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