In what was once a fruitful market, tablets were everywhere and made by just about every manufacturer around. That doesn’t mean they were all good but some did stand out. One of those and of the last standing is Samsung. Samsung made a bevy of tablet variations but their premium brand was the Tab S. Giving you some of the latest specs around to provide you an awesome tablet experience.
Now I have been using the Tab S brand since its first iteration so you can say I see the evolution over the past few years. The first Tab S was designed with a horiziontal format in mind while the 2nd Tab S went vertical. Both great tablets but can the Tab S bring anything else to the table?
The back of the Tabs has gone through a change over the years with the first having faux leather, the 2nd with a matte plastic and the 3rd going full glass. Of course, the Tab S tablets are designed like whatever Galaxy S device is out at its time of release. While not lighter than the Tab S2 by a couple of ounces (15.13 oz.) it’s still light and easy to hold with one hand.
The Tab S3 has a pretty silver outer trim that circles the device and covers the back. If you notice around that trim the Tab S3 is outfitted with Quad-Speakers. They work based on how you hold the tablet whether in portrait or landscape modes. Its designed to give you a surround sound experience no matter what.
I did find the sound on them good and tried as much as possible to push the sound out to you. Also helps they have been tuned by AKG which Samsung acquired a little while back. All this makes for a very sleek and thin tablet that can be carried anywhere.
Included with the Galaxy Tab S3 is a S-Pen and Type-C Charger.
Like the Galaxy Tab S2 before it, the Tab S3 is rocking a SUPER AMOLED 9.7” 2K Display. This year’s model though is designed to give you more pop in color in no matter what you use and has HDR built-in. Of course there are apps such as Netflix, Amazon, and others that have HDR but they have to provide support for the Tab S3 to achieve this colorful feat. It looks nice on the included demos and trailers but hopefully we can view some actual content with this.
Samsung opted out using their own processors and decided to use Qualcomm for their chipset this time. What you end up getting is a Snapdragon 820 chip, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage and is expandable with microSD that takes up to 256GB. Wireless support uses up to 802.11 AC, and Bluetooth. The Tab S3 does support quick charging via USB Type C and can get its 6,000mAh battery back to full in no time. I did find using it a good deal and even leaving it alone at times the battery was sufficient.
The Tab S3 is one of the first Samsung devices available to run with Nougat 7.0 right out the gates on top of TouchWiz. There is a ton of features packed in to make your user experience work for you how you want. I feel like TouchWiz isn’t all over the place and you can pretty much turn on and off what you want.
It also makes use of the S-Pen responsive whether you are doing some artwork or even using it to play a game or two. It takes on multi-tasking well if you are running two apps at once or have a pop up for one on the side.
Tab S3 Accessories
Pogo Keyboard: To get the most out of your Tab S3, the Keyboard is a nice addition. It is a full QWERTY keyboard which makes it easier than typing on the Tab S3 screen but also provides other uses. It can used to be a case for your Tab S3 and provide protection and also as a stand for watching entertainment on the Tab S3. I did find the keyboard and actually typed some of this review on there. While it is a QWERTY is also of course small and can feel crammed at times. It is good also for holding your included S-Pen. It goes for $129.99 and might be a nice investment if you utilize it to the fullest. Best thing is it never needs charging and runs off the tablet.
Using the S-Pen took me back to the days of using the Note 8. The Note 8 had a S-Pen as well that had a dedicated slot built into the device. I would have liked to see that on the Tab S3 but possibly could some issues with the quad speakers on each corner. Otherwise the S-Pen is very responsive to the touch no matter what you use it on. It is a great addition to the Tab S3 but I just find storing it can be an issue if you didn’t opt to buy the keyboard.
I still can’t get into using tablets for camera usage. I did give this one a try and it wasn’t bad. It is using a 13MP shooter on the back while helping your selfie game with 5MP on the front. Images weren’t bad but not something I do on the daily. Back camera also shoots UHD 4K if you need to catch some footage around you.
After spending the past few weeks with Samsung’s latest tablet I have grown to using it more. Based on its portability, decent battery life and quick charging. Display is still some of the best out there but would love to see HDR supported by apps to really push its full potential. Optional keyboard is nice for doing work but can be crammed for some and also doesn’t magnetically close. Included S-Pen is a nice touch and awesome to use but wish it had a built-in slot or magnet for the Tab S3 . The Galaxy Tab S3 is realistically a great media consumption powerhouse and is great for viewing content. One plus over say the iPad Pro or even Pixel C is that the Tab S3 has expandable storage pushing it to 256GB. That’s a lot of movies. That $600 price tag is a bit hard to swallow though.