Samsung tablets compared: Stylus, keyboard and more!

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At the beginning of 2022, Samsung updated both its entry-level and flagship tablets lines, Galaxy Tab A and Tab S, respectively, offering options in all major price points and uses. Whether be it in the education sector, for mobile productivity or simply for leisure activities such as casual surfing or gaming, Samsung has a suitable model.

In this article, we will introduce you to the most exciting Samsung tablets in the market at the moment and also take a look at whether you can take advantage of the stylus – Samsung’s vaunted S Pen or with a keyboard. As always, we begin with an overview of the most important hardware specifications:

  Best Premium Option Editors Choice Traditional flagship Still powerful 2021 flagship Mid-range option Affordable tablet with S Pen Entry-level option
Product
Picture Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
Display 14.6-inch, AMOLED display
2960 x 1848 pixels, 120 Hz
12.4-inch, AMOLED display
2800 x 1752 pixels, 120 Hz
11-inch, LCD display
2560 x 1600 pixels, 120 Hz
12.4-inch, AMOLED display
2800 x 1752 pixels, 120 Hz
11-inch, LCD display
2560 x 1600 pixels, 120 Hz
12.4-inch, LCD display
2560 x 1600 pixels, 60 Hz
10.4-inch, LCD display
2000 x 1200 pixels, 60 Hz
10.5-inch, LCD display
1920 x 1080 pixels, 60 Hz
SoC Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Snapdragon 865+ Snapdragon 750G Exynos 9611 Unisoc T618
Memory 8/12/16 GB RAM
128/256/512 GB storage
Expandable via microSD
8/12 GB RAM
128/256 GB storage
Expandable via microSD
8/12 GB RAM
128/256 GB storage
Expandable via microSD
6/8 GB RAM
128/256 GB storage
Expandable via microSD
6/8 GB RAM
128/256 GB storage
Expandable via microSD
4 GB RAM
64 GB storage
Expandable via microSD
4 GB RAM
64/128 GB storage
Expandable via microSD
3 GB RAM
32 GB storage
Expandable via microSD
Battery 11200 mAh, 45 W charging 10090 mAh, 45 W charging 8000 mAh, 45 W charging 10090 mAh, 45 W charging 8000 mAh, 45 W charging 10090 mAh, 45 W Charging 7040 mAh 7040 mAh
Software Android 12 with One UI Android 12 with One UI Android 12 with One UI Android 11 with One UI Android 11 with One UI Android 11 with One UI 3.1 Android 11 with One UI Android 11 with One UI
Camera Rear: 13 + 6 MP
Front: 12 + 12 MP
Rear: 13 + 6 MP
Front: 12 MP
Rear: 13 + 6 MP
Front: 12 MP
Rear: 13 + 5 MP
Front: 8 MP
Rear: 13 + 5 MP
Front: 8 MP
Rear: 8 MP
Front: 5 MP
Rear: 8 MP
Front: 5 MP
Rear: 8 MP
Front: 5 MP
Compatible with S Pen Yes, S Pen included Yes, S Pen included Yes, S Pen included Yes, S Pen included Yes, S Pen included Yes, S Pen included Yes, S Pen included No
Compatible with keyboard Yes, Book Cover Keyboard sold separately Yes, Book Cover Keyboard sold separately Yes, Book Cover Keyboard sold separately Yes, Book Cover Keyboard sold separately Yes, Book Cover Keyboard sold separately Yes, Book Cover Keyboard sold separately Third-party keyboards sold separately Third-party keyboards sold separately
Models Wi-Fi / 5G Wi-Fi / 5G Wi-Fi / 5G Wi-Fi / 5G Wi-Fi / LTE Wi-Fi / 5G Wi-Fi / LTE Wi-Fi / LTE
Good
  • Great AMOLED display
  • Very high-quality workmanship
  • Awesome performance without overheating issues
  • S Pen included
  • Fantastic sound
  • 120Hz AMOLED display is exceptional
  • Strong and stable performance
  • Included S Pen
  • Never heats up
  • Dex UI helps with multitasking
  • Expandable storage up to 1 TB
  • High-quality workmanship
  • Attractive design
  • 5G connectivity
  • S Pen included
  • 12.4-inch display
  • Good battery life
  • Decent sound
Bad
  • Too bulky
  • Potential is only maximized with a keyboard
  • S Pen is not integrated into the device
  • Fast charging is not really that “fast”
  • Lacks a charger
  • High price
  • Charging can barely keep up
  • No internal slot for the S-Pen
  • The SoC could be pushed harder
  • Android tablet software is (still) unwieldy
  • Ultrawide lens is without purpose
  • Dex mode still needs work
  • No AMOLED display
  • 60 Hertz refresh rate
  • Only 4GB RAM and 64GB storage
  • Snapdragon 750G SoC is not flagship level
  • No fingerprint sensor
  • Too expensive for a Lite version
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As you can see, the stylus is already included in most cases. What you have to look out for when buying a tablet, or which tablet is the right one for you? We will narrow down the search criteria below.

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Buying advice: What should you look out for when buying a tablet?

First, let’s take a brief look at how you should choose your tablet if you are currently thinking about buying one. It is worth your time to ponder carefully about whether you only need a cheap device that you can use as a secondary display for Twitter and other apps apart from watching TV, or whether you want to be productive wherever you go. 

Editor’s recommendation: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

001 lifestyle galaxytabs8ultra graphite galaxytabs8plus graphite galaxytabs8 silver
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ offers a perfect balance between the Ultra and the base model / © NextPit

After the last update of the Tab S series in September 2020, Samsung took off this year and presented the Galaxy Tab S8 series alongside the Galaxy S22 smartphones. The most inclusive model for us is the Galaxy Tab S8+, which comes with a few upgrades compared to the base model and is simply a bit more versatile than the huge Ultra model due to its form factor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ Review: Samsung almost nails it!

Like the Ultra, the Galaxy Tab S8+ has an AMOLED display, which sets it apart from the small version with its LCD panel. What all three models have in common is the refresh rate of 120 Hz for smooth animations and games – and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. You can look forward to a grandiose display and plenty of power with the Galaxy Tab S8+. The spec sheets for the S8 and S8+ also match storage and connectivity, including optional 5G functionality.

The battery specifications are similar to the 2020 series, with a capacity of 10,090 mAh and charging power of up to 45 watts. Unfortunately, the charger has to be purchased separately. The camera system has been upgraded with a 13-megapixel main camera and a 6-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, as well as a 12-megapixel selfie camera, as is also the case with the base model Tab S8.

As with all models in the S8 range, the excellent S Pen is included in the box. On the software side, the Galaxy Tab S8+ comes with Android 12 and One UI 4.1. The promise of four Android version upgrades and five years of security updates also applies to the S8+.

The Galaxy Tab S8+ can also be used with a keyboard, which has to be purchased separately and costs a whopping $159.99 in the Samsung Store*. Alternatively, you can also look out for cheap alternatives from third-party providers, which are available for less. Note that the Tab S8 models are compatible with cases designed for the corresponding S7 tablets.

Should it be significantly larger than the S8 or S8+ and are you not afraid to pay a lot of money for it? Then we come to the most powerful Android tablet ever:

Best premium tablet: Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra

The three Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra (right) has a screen bigger than many laptop PCs / © NextPit

New for 2022, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, aimed to compete with the iPad Pro range. With similar internal components as the vanilla Tab S8, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, the Ultra expands the memory options, reaching 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage space.

The Ultra’s highlight is the huge AMOLED display, with a 14.6-inch screen and 2960 x 1848 pixels resolution, and also offers 120 Hz refresh rate. One detail that attracts attention to the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the notch housing the two front cameras: the standard 12 megapixels wide-angle and an extra ultra-wide lens, also with 12 MP.

With a bigger screen comes bigger dimensions and a slightly bigger battery, with 11,200 mAh. Just like with the Tab S8, the Ultra model doesn’t come with a compatible charger, which is unfortunate for a tablet with prices starting at $899.99 for the 8/128 GB Wi-Fi model.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: The best Android tablet in the world

Needless to say, the S Pen is of course included here as well, and there is also a keyboard that you can purchase separately. Due to the larger display, this model is ideal for productive work, especially with the optional Book Cover keyboard

Best mid-range tablet: Samsung Galaxy S7 FE

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
The Fan Edition of the Galaxy Tab S7 – also comes with a 12.4-inch screen size / © NextPit

The youngest member of the S7 series is the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. It is significantly cheaper than the other two models, but has unfortunately slimmed down significantly as well. The Snapdragon 750G chipset, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB of storage will have to suffice here.

Why do we still recommend it? Because it also has a 5G option, includes the S Pen, and the large 12.4-inch display (but no AMOLED and only 60 Hz refresh rate!). The Fan Edition tablet did not fully convince me in the review, but it is nevertheless a useful all-rounder if you do not have particularly high demands. If you just like to read on the Internet while commuting or on the couch at home, play a few casual games that are not too CPU-intensive, or want to take down notes with the S Pen, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE will suffice.

By the way, the keyboard cover for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is also compatible with the S7+ and S8+ models. You have to bear in mind that the Snapdragon 750G chipset is weaker, but you should be able to work comfortably with a keyboard here as well.

The price could be the deciding factor in this case. The Wi-Fi version is currently available for $430 thereabouts on Amazon. By the way, the tablet is a bit cheaper in the Samsung store at $299.99, so it is worth considering it depending on your budget

Best affordable tablet with S Pen: Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite
The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is also a lightweight in price / © Samsung

If the above tablets are too expensive and too clunky for you, you should take a look at the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. With a screen that measures 10.4 inches, it is the smallest of the tablets listed here, but it is also more affordable in terms of price compared to Samsung’s flagship range. The model released at the end of April 2020 cost only $349.99 at the time and is currently available at a cheaper rate.

A somewhat weak Exynos 9611 does its job well, and it is accompanied by 4 GB of RAM. You can choose between 64 GB and 128 GB storage capacities. Of course, you will have to lower your demands for working and gaming with this model, but at least the S Pen is included here as well, which makes it the cheapest tablet with a stylus in our list.

The battery has a capacity of 7,040 mAh, and the cameras (8 MP rear, 5 MP front) are negligible as usual for tablets. There is no official keyboard cover for the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, but you can of course use third-party products that offer rather affordable keyboards.

If you simply want to play your casual games on a bigger screen than the smartphone, check the news, social media, and mails on the couch and scribble down notes every now and then, you might be quite happy with the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite.

Best entry-level tablet: Samsung Galaxy A8

Galaxy Tab A8
Samsung’s new entry-level tablet / © Samsung

Actually, this list could have ended with the S6 Lite, but Samsung recently launched another very affordable alternative in the form of the Galaxy Tab A8. The device only costs $229 for the WLAN version, although the price seems to have dropped temporarily to $129.99.

Samsung targets schoolchildren and students with this tablet, which is basically a customer base on a tight budget. Of course, you have to lower your expectations here as well, and this device is the only one on this list that lacks S Pen compatibility. If you cannot do without a stylus at all, you can help yourself with third-party manufacturers that offer such pens for all touchscreens quite cheaply. Of course, you should not expect “S Pen” features in terms of functionality, but it should be enough for scribbling on the screen.

Otherwise, the hardware is of course slim pickings: 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage and a Full HD display (LCD) that measures 10.5 inches across diagonally, as well as the usual barely usable camera pair (5 MP front, 8 MP rear) and a battery with a capacity of 7,040 mAh. By the way, there is also a version with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, while another has up to 128 GB of storage space, depending on your needs. Either way, you can expand the storage via a microSD card.

If you are looking for a Samsung tablet, now is the right time to do so. As always, we look forward to your comments and opinions concerning these South Korean tablets.

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