Samsung has done everything it can to transform the Galaxy Tab S4 into a “ real ” calculator, even though it hush runs Android 8.1. That strategy revolves around giving the Tab S4 a desktop-style environment with individual windows and improved multitasking called Samsung DeX .
The Tab S4 ’ second performance is layered
But turning an android pill into a loanblend doesn ’ t come bum — at least not by usual Android pad standards. Pricing for the Wi-Fi version of the Tab S4 starts at $ 649, which includes the S Pen. however, the keyboard is an extra $ 149. That makes a complete setup $ 800, which is $ 10 less than a 10.5-inch iPad Pro with Apple ’ s Smart Keyboard ( minus the Apple Pencil ) .
You can besides link a Bluetooth mouse if you already have one to complete the DeX have. ( And, as you ’ ll see, you kind of motivation to. )
Our reappraisal of
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
out of 10
- Gorgeous screen
- Excellent battery life
- DeX is great for multitasking
- Android apps for tablets are still mediocre
- Requires you to buy keyboard / mouse for Dex to be useful
- Face / iris scanning is hit or miss
Buy for $649.00 from Samsung
Buy for $649.00 from Amazon
aesthetically, the Galaxy Tab S4 is a good model of square industrial design for a tablet. It measures 7.1mm thin and weighs 482 grams ( 1.06 pounds ) so it decidedly passes as lightweight. It has a field glass back and front man, comes in whiten or black, and is well-balanced, no count how you pick it up .
Since it ’ randomness largely field glass, the Tab S4 is a fingerprint attraction of the highest ordering. once I wiped it off a few times, I realized Samsung still deserves credit : it ’ s a unique and fine-looking pad without excessive brand .
If you take a look around the Tab S4, you ’ ll notice the amber contacts on the edge of the long side ( mean for the keyboard ), a bulk rocker, office button, microSD card slot, 3.5mm audio laborer, and a USB-C fast charging port .
The one major takeout I have from using the Galaxy Tab S4 hardware is how beautiful the blind is. It ’ s a 10.5-inch, 2560 ten 1600 sAMOLED display. ( Yes, Samsung rebrands the technical school its displays use. ) luminosity can be cranked up to the soap, and it still produces an visualize with tons of contrast and saturation without blacks looking washed out. The crisp persona the Tab S4 produces means that it ’ south highly desirable for photograph retouch, drawing doodles, or watching the new season of Luke Cage .
If you ’ re into heavy saturation and contrast on screens, this is it
The Tab S4 decidedly has one of the best-looking pad displays of the year, and it ’ s not just because of Samsung ’ mho use of display technical school and color reconciliation. The bezels on the sides have shrunk compared to last year ’ randomness Galaxy Tab, so it ’ randomness more visually strike and immersive to look at. however, if you appreciate more color-accurate screens, there ’ sulfur a opportunity you might not like the Tab S4 ’ mho oversaturated discolor profile .
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 specs
- 10.5-inch 2560 x 1600 sAMOLED display
- Snapdragon 835 octa-core chipset
- 4GB RAM / 64GB storage / microSD up to 400GB
- 7,300mAh battery
- Android 8.1 with Samsung Dex
- Quad speakers “tuned by AKG”
- 13-megapixel main camera with flash / 8-megapixel front-facing camera
- S Pen
On its own, the Tab S4 is a knock-down media-consumption device. But Samsung ’ s actual finish for this pad is to make it a productiveness device. The $ 149 keyboard doubles as a bandstand and case for the Tab S4, but you can ’ t adjust the fish, so it alone truly works in one position .
On the bequeath side of the keyboard, there ’ s a obliterable S Pen holder, but it feels cheap. It sometimes can by chance snap off before you have to snap it back on again, and it ’ s an odd locate to cut corners .
Another curio : there ’ randomness no trackpad. so if you actually want to take advantage of the DeX background modality, you ’ ll need your own Bluetooth mouse, or you can use the S Pen as a mouse substitute, which is awkward .
Everything but a trackpad
If there ’ s a undimmed side, it ’ mho that typing feel adequate. It doesn ’ t have a draw of change of location, but it isn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate ampere shoal as the MacBook Pro ’ second butterfly keyboard. however, the keys are fabulously small, and despite having young, agile fingers, I much struggled to hit the backspace key keystone quickly or get used to the evening smaller phone number row. If you want to send dozens of emails with the Tab S4 keyboard every sidereal day, you should commit a distribute to commit the layout to your muscle memory. besides, the keys aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate backlit, so using the Tab S4 keyboard at night is a crap shooting.
technically, you have an emoji push button
One pleasant storm was Samsung ’ s decision to include an on-screen keyboard release, which brings up a modest version of the native full-screen Android keyboard when you ’ re in DeX mood. It ’ mho helpful if you want to add emoji, character using your voice, and add GIFs or stickers .
The entirely include accessory, early than a charger, is the S Pen. This year, it ’ second been redesigned for the Tab S4. Design-wise, it reminds me of a fake Montblanc penitentiary, but Samsung prefers calling it “ refined. ” And it is ! It ’ s lightweight, balances in your fingertips like a real playpen, and has a easy tip. It tracks very well and reminds me less of the Galaxy Note ’ s S Pen and more like the Surface Pen, which is frequently used by artists for master design work .
Our nonmigratory talented artist and Circuit Breaker reporter Dami Lee drew a immediate doodle and said it “ felt better and more natural than an Apple Pencil. ” While you can ’ t flip the pen over to use it as a digital eraser, it does support Samsung ’ s Air Command features. You can annotate screenshots, write out notes, draw, sign documents, and do pretty much anything else a digital pen is meant for .
The new S Pen is great for artists
DeX is Samsung ’ s specialize software for giving Android a background interface, with windows, browser pill, and a taskbar. On the Tab S4, it ’ second available as barely another manner, whereas on Samsung phones, you have to plug into a eldritch dock to enable it .
Samsung DeX is going to be one of the Tab S4 ’ s biggest selling points and for good reason. It ’ south amazing what Samsung has accomplished with Android here .
You can have a twelve Android apps open at a time in an environment where you can resize them as windows, move them around, go full-screen with just one, or have the option of projecting the whole thing on an external television / monitor .
It ’ randomness alert, and that ’ s dependable
There ’ randomness still a downside : Android apps optimized for tablets are few and far between, and those that do exist decidedly seaport ’ t been designed or optimized to run on the Tab S4 in DeX modality .
Performance-wise, I had some concerns about Samsung using an older Snapdragon 835 chipset with only 4GB of RAM, but I haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate come across crashes or lag at all. overall operation doesn ’ t become an exit until you hit a twelve apps running at the lapp time. At that detail, I noticed resizing windows wasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate as crisp, but the Tab S4 placid persisted and didn ’ triiodothyronine crash .
Of class, there are some holes in Samsung ’ sulfur execution of DeX. For example, you have to reopen all the apps you were working from when you switch between the Android and DeX interface, unless you enable the “ DeX Labs ” feature, which carries them over ( but not constantly ) .
There ’ randomness besides the fact that some Android apps, like Netflix or Pokémon Go, wear ’ thymine seem to work with DeX. It can ’ thyroxine run them full-screen flush if you enable a DeX Labs have that forces non-supported apps to resize. still, most Android apps should play courteous — hopefully .
Samsung Dex doesn ’ triiodothyronine play well with every app
The most unusual peripheral for an Android tablet is credibly a Bluetooth mouse. DeX makes good function of a mouse because you can right click on apps in the taskbar to close them or otherwise access options that would normally be hidden with a long press. What ’ south strange is that a mouse is actually necessary to make the most of DeX, which makes the hale thing feel a little less portable .
Is using the Tab S4 in default option Android pad modality worth it ? only if you can ’ thyroxine use the app in DeX manner or if you don ’ t have a keyboard. otherwise, there ’ s actually no rationality to use it like you would most Android tablets. screen real estate of the realm international relations and security network ’ metric ton utilized as efficiently, so DeX is the lone point where the Tab S4 ’ mho software actually shines .
For those of you wondering about Bixby, Samsung ’ s often-delayed virtual assistant : it ’ south delayed. Samsung says Bixby should launch for the Tab S4 following year .
The Tab S4 has great cameras on the front and back. ( I ’ ll save what I think about taking pictures on a pill for another time. ) The independent 13-megapixel camera can shoot 4K improving to 30 fps, while the front-facing supports up to 1080p HD .
On the movement, the Tab S4 besides houses the sensors for its iris and face scanner unlock feature. These are score or miss because the Tab S4 doesn ’ thyroxine always “ see ” my face if I ’ molarity using it with the keyboard and the desk I ’ thousand at is besides broken. however, it does sometimes work in lurch black dark, so that ’ s kind of decent .
face unlock is hit or miss
Most of the Tab S4 ’ s weight comes from the massive 7,300mAh battery. Samsung advertises 16 hours of battery life using the Tab S4 for video and productiveness. That ’ s not far off : I got round 15 hours of manipulation before hitting critical barrage levels by binge-watching on Netflix and writing out the periodic Slack message or e-mail with the keyboard. If you use the Tab S4 conservatively ( no GPS, Bluetooth, and 50 percentage brightness ) it shouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be unmanageable to hit the 16-hour commemorate .
It ’ mho missing things that you have to buy
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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is a great feat to make the ideal Android pill. Samsung DeX makes the Tab S4 sincerely particular, but the lack of optimize apps for Android and DeX modes means your software choices are quite limit. Samsung did a noteworthy job of making the Tab S4 seem like it ’ second more than the sum of its parts. I barely wish the parts were better .
photography by Stefan Etienne / The verge
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