Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 - A Student’s Perspective
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on 13 March 2022
Nowadays you're seeing more and more students switching from a laptop to a tablet for all of their productivity and entertainment. Although laptops are more portable than ever, It's pretty clear students appreciate an, even MORE, portable setup. That's where the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 steps in. This is one of my favorite Android tablets on the market, but if you’re a student, it has some serious competition from Apple. So, is the Galaxy Tab S8 the best tablet for students? Well, Let’s find out!
This year the Galaxy Tab S8 costs $50 more than its previous predecessor which is not bad considering some of the new features added. The Tab S8 is definitely not a cheap tablet, but it honestly offers a ton of awesome features that any student will appreciate who's in the market for a quality productivity-based tablet. I know some of you are debating whether you should get this or the iPad Air or Pro. And some of you are just looking for a quality android tablet for productivity and entertainment. Well, this video is for you all!
When you look at the hardware of this device, it’s obvious that this thing is beautiful and there's definitely some iPad inspiration here. Anyway, On the back, you’ve got a matte aluminum finish with a glass magnet strip to connect the S Pen. On the right side is where you'll find the power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner, the volume rockers which are tactile, and a micro SD card slot that can be expanded up to 1TB. On the left side are connectors for other accessories and on the bottom is a USB-C charging port that can charge up to 45W
Flipping this device around, On the front, you’ve got an 11” 1600x2560 display. While the bezels on this device are slightly big for 2020, the display is still gorgeous and I love streaming content and playing games on its 120htz display. And the bigger bezels make it easier to hold on the hand without interfering with the view too much. In addition to being good for leisure, the display gets bright enough to read outside, so I could see this being used at any time of day, for just about anything you can imagine. I highly recommend a case or stand for this device because the edges are sharp and after long use, it's not comfortable to hold in the hand.
The 8000 mAh battery on here is also gonna make sure that this tablet goes all day. It's definitely not the best battery life I've experienced on a tablet, but it's certainly enough for long productivity sessions. I typically get a full day of use on productivity days but when I add gaming or streaming to the mix, I do have to keep a portable charger with me.
If you look around the sides, you’ll see four stereo speakers that get pretty loud and have clear audio quality, but you won’t see a headphone jack. Bummer. Anyway, this is probably one of the loudest speakers I've experienced on a tablet, so whether you're in a zoom meeting or listening to a lecture you won't have any trouble hearing.
The base model of this device comes with 128GB and it’s an additional $80 for the 256GB model, and the S8 does come with a micro SD card slot, fortunately.
The Galaxy Tab S8 has two cameras on the back, a 13mp wide-angle lens and a 6mp ultrawide lens. Photos and video are solid for a tablet, I was surprised to see that this ships with 4k at 60fps. The front camera has a 12mp 120-degree ultra-wide lens, which is great for zoom calls and conferences. It's sad that most laptops double or triple the price don't have nearly as good of a camera system compared to this device. Whether you're using it to scan documents or photography this is actually surprisingly solid.
Operating System and Performance
In terms of performance and the operating system, this ships with the new Snapdragon 8th gen Octa-Core processor, 8GB of RAM, and an Adreno 730 GPU running on Samsung’s version of Android 12. That’s really the most important reason to buy this tablet... it’s probably one of the most powerful tablets on the market. Like I mentioned before, entertainment is terrific, but this might be the best tablet for multi-tasking I’ve ever seen.
Samsung launched all their new tablets with a feature called Samsung DeX, that allows you to boot your tablet into a PC-like mode, where you can bounce between different windows of apps and move between screens easily.
In the past, my biggest reason for recommending students pick up something like a Chromebook is because things like hooking your laptop up to external monitors, or multi-tasking through different windows were way easier on a Chromebook, but clearly, that's not the case anymore.
Samsung also partnered with Microsoft to allow you to run excel, word, and other Microsoft apps in multiple desktop windows. So typing on this tablet is phenomenal when you hook up an external keyboard or just a keyboard case.
This feature is really the best part of this tablet and honestly one of its biggest selling points.
In addition to DeX, is Samsung’s inclusion of the S-Pen in the box. Most students are taking notes digitally, so this is very much appreciated. There are times I honestly prefer this over the Apple pencil. I personally like how soft it feels on the screen and the paper sound it makes when you're taking notes. It's really cool that you can actually hover the s pen over certain things like the calendar to get more details without having to tap on the screen. I'd say the Apple price is slightly more accurate, but the s pen is definitely more innovative. The only thing I don't like is how it snaps to the tablet only in one orientation, so essentially the tip has to be facing the camera for it to charge and for full magnetic power. Overall, Given how expensive adding the Apple Pen is to an iPad, I definitely think this is a great deal.
And that takes me to the question you’ve been asking: is this worth the base-model, $700 price tag?
I can confidently say the Galaxy Tab S8 is one of, if not the best, android tablets in its series.
I think at $700 USD for the base model this is competing with the iPad Air and iPad Pro.
If you absolutely know you want a tablet in this price range, I think you only go with the iPad if you want to use iMessage, sidecar, and other Apple-exclusive software features, and you go with the Tab S8 if you absolutely need a stylus and the best tablet experience on Android.
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