Samsung has an extensive range of Android tablets catering to almost every segment of the market that is willing to stick with Google’s ecosystem. The global technology giant even continues to innovate in a segment that has witnessed a severe slowdown in recent years. Features like DeX have helped bring out the productivity side of tablets which were perceived primarily for entertainment. Though you may find several implementations similar to DeX, not one of them can match the seamless implementation that Samsung achieved.
The 2019 lineup of Samsung tablets is partially out already with more devices expected to join in the following months. You will find a mix of older and newer models in this guide, almost perfectly representing their own segments, arranged in descending order of their supremacy. The listed tablets range from 8 inches to 10.5 inches in display size and there is no chance you won’t find a tablet that is just right for your needs.
Each tablet listed here addresses a different user requirement and you can go through our in-depth reviews of all these devices to make a perfect choice for yourself.
The Best Samsung Tablets
Here are the best Samsung tablets you can buy right now.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
The recently introduced Galaxy Tab S6 stands neck and neck with the best tablets currently retailing in the market. Samsung made sure to use the latest processor—the Snapdragon 855—to avoid repeating last year’s retrogression. With this tablet, you will get up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage that can be further expanded by up to 1TB. You can get these storage configurations in an LTE-enabled model as well.
Samsung has aimed this high-end machine at the working professionals who could consider replacing their heavier laptops with this lighter tablet. It comes with Samsung DeX built-in that launches Android apps in a pseudo desktop mode. It is supported by a keyboard attachment that now has a trackpad. A largely unchanged 2K AMOLED display sits on the front that now houses an in-display fingerprint reader. The S Pen is also a part of the package and it now sticks to the device’s back.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
Not just from Samsung, the Galaxy Tab S4 is arguably one of the best Android tablets out there given the variety of features it has to offer. Being a Samsung product, it gets the industry-leading Super AMOLED display that, besides being sharp with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, supports S Pen that comes bundled with the tablet. Despite using a two-generations-old Snapdragon 835 processor, the tablet manages to offer excellent performance for regular use and wouldn’t even disappoint power users.
The best part about this premium tablet is the support for Samsung DeX that allows you to have a desktop-like experience riding on the level of versatility that Android operating system offers. It packs a sleek and classy design with glass on both the front and back of the product and has four speakers offering an immersive entertainment experience. Inside its 7.1mm thick body, the Samsung tablet boasts a big 7,300mAh battery which proved to be an excellent performer in our review, offering a running time of 14 hours.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the mid-end Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is the tablet that will fit the bill for most. Ideal for being used as an entertainment device for your family, this device gets a high-res 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display, with thin bezels all around, and a pair of speakers on its either side. Plus, it comes preinstalled with Android 9 Pie packed with features brought with the One UI update. In terms of battery too, the Galaxy Tab S5e did a fantastic job by offering a runtime of 13.5 hours.
Like many newer Samsung products, this one supports DeX too and it works surprisingly well despite its mid-tier specifications. Speaking of which, you will find a Snapdragon 670 processor and 4GB of RAM doing the heavy lifting; they may be good for normal use but serious gamers wouldn’t be utterly satisfied. Lack of support for the S Pen also disappoints a bit. Nevertheless, for its asking price of $399, you cannot go wrong with this tablet that has so much to offer.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 with S Pen
Currently, the smallest tablet in Samsung’s arsenal, the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 with S Pen is positioned right below the Galaxy Tab S5e and it still manages to feature a few better features. For starters, you will get access to Samsung’s fantastic S Pen, which suddenly transforms this tablet into a compact and great note-taking device. The inclusion of the latest Android 9 Pie means you get access to some of the newest software additions as well.
Samsung has also included an earpiece on this tablet that allows it to be used as a phone, it’d be awkward though, making use of its LTE connection. Coming with an in-house Exynos 7904 octa-core chipset, the tablet offers adequate performance and the provided full HD IPS LCD display wouldn’t disappoint either. Things that are rather noticeable are its plastic body and a single speaker. Scoring a runtime of 9.5 hours in our test, its battery life also leaves a bit to be desired but still, you’ll easily get through a full day of use.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019
For the people favoring value over other aspects, Samsung recently released a great tablet with a large 10.1-inch full HD display that still hangs on to a metal build. For just $229, this particular Samsung tablet has quite a bit up its sleeve. First, it shares the Exynos 7904 processor with its 8-inch sibling, though the RAM capacity has been slightly reduced to 2GB. This combination is fine for basic work like surfing the web, reading the news, or writing an occasional email, but a performance dip is noticeable under heavier load.
The Samsung One UI update preloaded on top of Android Pie brings a solid set of features giving you a pleasant experience overall. Its cameras, one on the back and another on the front, are surprisingly good and are usable for a random shot while its speaker also produces decent audio. What it lacks is a fingerprint scanner which is a forgivable omission especially considering its starting price. In terms of battery life, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 could run for 10.5 hours using its 6,150mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 2018
Not more than a year ago, the South Korean brand had announced its Galaxy Tab A 10.5 tablet which still manages to be a great tablet for the budget segment. While the 2018 model has a plastic build, it offers more RAM at 3GB, as compared to the recently released model, and boasts stereo speakers with a 4-speaker system. Even though it too lacks a fingerprint scanner, it has a basic facial recognition option up and running to make things easier.
A Qualcomm-made Snapdragon 450 chipset powers the tablet and it doesn’t offer much to write home about. The performance is particularly slower than the current iteration and it also uses a generation-old Android 8.1 Oreo with Experience UI which is even unlikely to get updated anytime soon. Now available at a cheaper price than its original price tag, the 10.1-inch budget tablet has a 7,300mAh battery that lasted for a solid 13 hours in our testing last year.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019) T290
Samsung’s extensive 2019 lineup of tablets got its cheapest member not too long ago. The Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019) is that compact tablet that you’d want to carry around inside your jacket pocket or a handbag. It should be good enough for people who have limited needs from a tablet and the Tab A 8.0 is designed just for that. With its basic internals, it can help you read emails, watch a couple of YouTube videos, surf the web, or read a Kindle book. You get the point.
In our review of the tablet, we found it to be marginally better in performance than the Amazon Fire HD 8 (review), thanks to the Snapdragon 429 chip. It has an 8-inch HD display and has the newest Android 9 Pie-based One UI running out of the box. Its limited performance doesn’t allow for an enjoyable gaming experience although playing a game isn’t entirely impossible.
Frequently Asked Questions & Our Answers
I am sure you might be having a bunch of questions following this guide, particularly around the finer points of these Samsung tablets. Here, I will try to answer some questions that are most common in our mailbox. You can still continue sending us emails, or comment below, to clear any doubt you have.
When is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 going to be released?
In a sentence: We don’t know yet. But we do have an expected timeline when the Galaxy Tab S7 can go official, taking Samsung’s track record into account. The Galaxy Tab S6 is a fairly recent device that came out late July, while its predecessor — the Galaxy Tab S4 — was announced in August last year. Based on this, you can expect the Tab S7 to arrive somewhere around August of 2020.
What is the latest Samsung tablet?
Samsung launched another tablet barely two months after the Tab S6 went official, but it isn’t meant for everyone. I’m talking about the Galaxy Tab Active Pro that is a rugged tablet designed for some specific rough situations. It is an excellent device for such circumstances and it even comes with the S Pen along with a cavity to hold the stylus. Plus, Samsung is even promising 4-year software support for the 10-inch tablet.
What is the biggest Samsung tablet?
Whoa, do you really want to know about it? It’s a gigantic tablet that Samsung came out with in 2015 and there is a reason why it didn’t get any further iterations. The tablet is called Samsung Galaxy View and it has an 18.4-inch display slapped onto its front. It wasn’t of course practical enough for being used as a tablet, and its asking price was high. The Galaxy Tab S6, S5e, and the S4 continue being the more feasible options right now with their 10.5-inch displays.
Which Samsung tablets support the S Pen?
The entire premium lineup of Samsung tablets supports the S Pen stylus, including the Tab S6, S4, S3, and the aforementioned Galaxy Tab Active Pro, in fact, they flaunt it as their USP. There is a budget model — the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 with S Pen — that can also help you get started on a budget, while the 2016 Galaxy Tab A 10.1 allowed using the S Pen on its 3GB RAM models. Most other Samsung tablets, like the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019, its predecessor, or even the costlier Galaxy Tab S5e, don’t support the Samsung stylus.
Older Samsung Tablets: An Overview
Chances are you might be interested in getting an older tablet model, maybe for its cheap price or you don’t particularly need the extra horsepower of the newer variant. Those tablets might have aged well for people who bought it back when they’re newly launched, but it’s a different story altogether now. Devices more than two years old are unlikely to receive major software releases, but you can still consider getting one if you’re getting an offer that’d be silly to pass.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
This Samsung flagship from 2017 isn’t that bad of an option as its predecessor would be. That’s mainly because Samsung recently pushed Android 9 Pie to this tablet, which brought along the newest One UI features. Samsung’s custom user interface has been hailed universally for its under-the-hood improvements, making the device feel much smoother than the older software. However, we aren’t quite sure if Android 10 will make its way to the Galaxy Tab S3.
As mentioned in the FAQ section above, the Tab S3 is one of the few Samsung tablets to support the S Pen. It has a 9.7-inch Super AMOLED that you simply cannot go wrong with, while its internals include the octa-core Snapdragon 820 chipset. For most tasks, the processor won’t disappoint you and is capable enough for daily use. The slate also scored well in our standard battery test when we reviewed it a couple of years ago.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2017
The two-year-old budget tablet from Samsung came running Android 7.1 Nougat and the company did a fantastic job of bringing two major software updates. Android 9 Pie-based One UI was the last update pushed to the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2017 and it isn’t expected to get Android 10.
This is particularly applaudable since Samsung wasn’t known as a brand that bothered releasing newer Android builds for its premium tablets until a few years ago, let alone its budget range. But we’d still not recommend getting this tablet at any price, considering how cheap and good its 2019 follow-up is.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016
It was incredible seeing Samsung bringing such a strong performer to the budget segment back in 2016. What stood out was the optional support for the S Pen, allowing the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 to compete with higher-end models. It came preinstalled with Android 6.0 Marshmallow that sounds ancient now, and it isn’t likely to even get Android Pie.
Considering all this and the value that the 2019 Galaxy Tab A 10.1 offers, it’d be tough for us to recommend the 2016 model. You should rather go ahead with this year’s budget tablet that is a solid performer and has been praised all over. Plus, you get the guarantee of at least a couple of future upgrades, given Samsung continues with its trend.
How to find the best Samsung tablet for your needs?
Samsung has a pretty extensive tablet range, much like its smartphones, which has something for everyone in the market looking for a slate. We understand that it might be a bit hard to navigate through all the intricate specifications and pick the right one from all the options you have at hand. Here is how you can decide without having to stress about it.
Decide how far you can go with your budget
In most cases, a buyer’s budget makes it quite clear which tablet they can go for, or any product for that matter. With price no bar, you should definitely go for the latest and greatest Galaxy Tab S6, while with a more limited budget, you can shortlist the ones that fit and then take the call. Chances are you’ll quickly get the answer as Samsung doesn’t have too many options in each price bracket. Just make sure to pick the best one that fits your budget, even if it requires going overboard by a few dollars. Believe me, you won’t regret it in the long run.
Narrow it down to exactly what you need in a tablet
This is perhaps a more crucial step than budgeting because what you intend to do with the tablet should primarily affect your purchase decision, after which, you should allocate the budget. If you want to have something that your kids can use while at home or traveling, then you should pick their cheaper 8-inch slates, which should get the job done pretty well. Some people just need a portable screen for media consumption. For them, the 10-inch entry-level tablet should fit the bill.
Some people need a machine lighter than their traditional clamshell laptops for productivity on the go. Samsung’s Tab S line is an excellent choice for them as all the S tablets support a keyboard accessory and come preloaded with the DeX interface. Even a mid-tier tablet can serve you well if productivity apps are the only ones you use. For anything more powerful, like gaming or video editing, you’ll have to go for the high-end options.
In case you have varied requirements
More often than not, people get these tablets to use for multiple tasks that vary considerably in nature. If you use your tablet for work in the office and come home to indulge in a gaming battle to relieve stress, then you need a device that can preferably handle both. In that case, you should buy a top-tier slate from Samsung, which can handle anything you through at it. Plus, its memory configurations are better equipped to handle all heavy apps you can possibly use on an Android tablet. Basically, go for the best tablet that your budget allows for, keeping in mind the most demanding thing or app you intend to use.
Stylus or no stylus
Not all Samsung tablets support the S Pen or come bundled with one. So, if your work involves using the stylus a lot, then your choices are clear. The Galaxy Tab S6, the older Tab S4, and the budget Tab A 8.0 with S Pen are your only options right now. If you’re an artist who uses a bunch of heavy-weight apps to get their artwork ready, then you’d be better off with the newest Tab S6, which is capable of handling such apps. Those who like notetaking will find the smaller Tab A model extremely comfortable to use with a single hand, and you won’t have to worry about storing the S Pen as well, as the tablet itself has a slot for it.
How we review tablets?
Each tablet we review at MyNextTablet undergoes a set of tests and checks that we have standardized over the years. They involve putting the tablets under different kinds of loads, mimicking the combination of apps a person with varied needs would use, and going after various performance numbers to set a base metric to ensure comparability across the devices that we test. This helps us come out with insightful comparisons with arguments that are based on the recorded details and not some vague impression we might remember of a particular device.
Diving a little deeper into our review process, we perform a handful of benchmark tests as well as our standard battery test, which includes putting the devices under the same load to avoid result discrepancies. All slates are used as daily drivers during our work and personal time to evaluate its usefulness throughout the day, and we use them for basic stuff like gaming, web surfing, and watching online videos. We meticulously check if a machine can play Netflix in HD and even replicate a typical office day to give those who work on tablets an idea what they can expect.
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