Like every year, Samsung released lots of interesting tablets in the last couple of years. The Korean brand has a large range of devices. Some of their Android tablets are very affordable, while others are as pricey as top-of-the-line laptops once you include the keyboards. Samsung is customizing the software a lot and the premium devices even have a desktop mode called Samsung DeX
I’ve tested all of Samsung’s tablets that have been released in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and I will continue to review the ones that will be released in 2023. As I said, the selection is very large and sometimes it can be a bit hard to get a good overview.
Well, with this list, you get exactly that. Here are the best Samsung tablets that you can buy right now. My full reviews are linked below each one if you need more information and detailed test results.
The Best Samsung Tablets: An Overview
- Best overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series (on Amazon*). The tablets of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series are not only the best Samsung tablets but the best Android tablets in general on the market today. We get a powerful processor, pretty 11-inch, 12.4-inch, and 14.6-inch displays, the S Pen stylus, and tons of premium features.
- Best Galaxy Tab S8 alternative: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 series (on Amazon*). Even though the tablets of the Galaxy Tab S7 series are about 1.5 years older than the S8, they can continue to be a great choice if you can find a good price. They are very powerful as well, have the same screens, and the same premium features like the S Pen and the keyboard covers of the S8.
- Best mid-range tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is the best mid-range tablet from Samsung right now. It offers a big screen, a high-end built quality, as well as the S Pen stylus, and two keyboard options. However, the screen and the performance are worse than the S8 Plus.
- Cheaper mid-range tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 is a bit cheaper alternative to the S7 FE. While the S Pen is included as well, the screen is quite a bit smaller at 10.4 inches. It has a full metal body, the performance is similarly good, and it should get updates equally long.
- Best 8-inch Samsung tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 (on Amazon*). While the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 is aimed at business customers, it is the best 8-inch Android tablet at the moment because there are no proper alternatives. It is very rugged, but because of that, the design looks a bit old. We get a good CPU, up-to-date software, the S Pen, and a nice screen.
- Best entry-level tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is the best entry-level tablet from the Korean company. It can’t compete with the others at all and premium features like an S Pen are missing. But it is very affordable. And considering its price, it has a decent screen, performance, and speakers, and the software is mostly the same as on the others.
- Cheap 8-inch tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (on Amazon*). If you just want a cheap 8-inch tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is the best choice for you. It’s very affordable but has a solid screen and a good built quality. All premium features are missing and its performance is okay only. But it’s very cheap.
Samsung Tablets: An In-Depth Look
Let’s check out these tablets in more detail.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, S8 Plus, and S8 Ultra: The best overall
The three tablets of the Galaxy Tab S8 series are not only the best Samsung tablets on the market today but also the best ones running Android in general. You can choose between the 11-inch Galaxy Tab S8, the 12.4-inch Galaxy Tab S8+, and the 14.6-inch Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. They are almost identical in most aspects but the screens are different.
Most interesting are the 12.4-inch Galaxy Tab S8+ and the 14.6-inch Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra because both have very pretty Super AMOLED screens with deep blacks, lots of contrast, and HDR support. With 2800 x 1752 pixels (S8+) and 2920 x 1848 pixels (S8 Ultra) they are sharp, have wide viewing angles and support 120Hz.
We get the same high refresh rate with the 11-inch Galaxy Tab S8 but this one is a standard LCD screen. That means blacks are not as deep and there’s no HDR support. However, with 2560 x 1600 pixels it has a very high resolution. All three are fully laminated.
Responsible for tons of performance is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor that is supported by 8GB, 12GB, or 16GB of RAM. The internal storage can be between 128GB and 512GB in size and there’s a microSD card slot if you need more. 5G is an option on all of them.
In benchmarks, the Galaxy Tab S8 lineup is faster than all other Android tablets. But it can’t compete with the Apple iPad Pro. Still, you can play games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite with the highest graphics settings, and in my video render test, it too is faster than all other Android tablets.
One major highlight is the S Pen stylus that is included with all. It’s a pen made of plastic, it has an integrated battery, and you charge it by putting it on the back of the tablet through induction. The pen supports over 4000 levels of pressure sensitivity and because of those 120Hz screens, it looks like it reacts super fast.
On the software side, the S Pen is well supported. The Samsung Notes app is very well made and is great for handwritten notes, but also to annotate PDFs. With the Air Commands, you can quickly take a screenshot and annotate it, translate words, and much more. With the S Pen To Text feature, you can use handwriting in most standard text fields. That works in the URL bar in Chrome, for instance.
The tablets are running Android 12 with OneUI in version 4.1. Samsung is promising up to five years of updates with four big version updates. Together with OneUI, we get tons of customizations like improved multitasking, and the Samsung DeX desktop mode. It lets you transform Android into a kind of desktop operating system. Together with the keyboard covers, you can almost use the Galaxy Tab S8 tablets like a normal laptop.
Samsung is selling two different kinds of keyboards. There’s a typical keyboard case that’s very light and slim, and while it’s a good keyboard, it’s not amazing. More interesting is the Book Cover Keyboard which offers a better keyboard, a touchpad, and a back with an integrated kickstand.
The built quality of the Galaxy Tab S8, S8+, and S8 Ultra is excellent. We get metal bodies that are between 5.5mm and 6.3mm thin. There are USB C 3.2 Gen 1 ports, microSD card slots, four great speakers, and fingerprint scanners. With the S8+ and S8 Ultra, that scanner sits below the screen.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 series: The best S8 alternative
If you think the Galaxy Tab S8 tablets are too expensive, you can check out the Galaxy Tab S7 series. Make sure you compare prices because I think they should be at least 30 percent cheaper. If they are, they can be a great alternative.
The Galaxy Tab S7 resembles the S8 a lot and the Galaxy Tab S7+ is almost the same as the S8+. Their biggest difference is software. Yes, both are running Android 12 at the moment, but the S7 will probably get updates for the next 1.5 to 2 years only. The S8, on the other hand, should get up to 4 or 5 years of more updates.
Their performance is different too. Inside the Galaxy Tab S7 tablets runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chipset with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB up to 512GB internal storage. In benchmarks, the CPU performance is a little bit weaker only. But the graphics performance of the S8 is noticeably better.
With that being said, in my gaming test, the S7 series is capable of playing demanding games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite with the highest graphics settings as well. But in my video render test, it’s a little bit weaker.
It’s important to know that the design, built quality, and displays are the same. So, the Galaxy Tab S7 has the same 11-inch LCD as the S8 and the S7+ has the same 12.4-inch Super AMOLED screen as the S8+ has. All are fully laminated and support 120Hz. The built quality is high and the speakers are the same.
Since the design and metal bodies are the same, you can use exactly the same keyboard covers with both generations. And the same S Pen is included too.
As you’ve seen, the Galaxy Tab S7 series resembles the S8 tablets a lot. I think the most important difference is software. Samsung will release updates for the S8 much longer than it’ll for the S7.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE: The best mid-range tablet
I think the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is the best mid-range tablet from Samsung. It’s a weaker version of the Galaxy Tab S8+ and S7+. So, the screen is 12.4-inches in size as well and the metal body is similarly premium-feeling. Regarding everything else, the S7 FE is a bit weaker.
This time we don’t get a Super AMOLED screen but a standard LCD instead. It’s 12.4-inches in size and has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels which certainly is sharp enough. While it’s fully laminated, it supports 60Hz only and does not support HDR content.
Without having to pay anything extra, the S Pen stylus is included. The pen works just as it does on the pricier versions. Samsung’s Notes app and the Air Commands are identical too.
Another identical feature is the accessories. With the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, you can use the same keyboard covers as you can with the S8+ and S7+ because the bodies are very similar. The S7 FE is made of metal, feels high-end, and is very thin at 6.3mm. It has a USB C 3.2 Gen 1 port, a microSD card slot, as well as two good speakers.
Depending on the version, the S7 FE is running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G or 750G processor with 4GB or 6GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB internal storage. Yes, in benchmarks it’s much slower than the S8 but it also is much faster than the cheaper Galaxy Tab A8. It’s a mid-range tablet and the performance is in the mid-range as it should.
Out of the box, the tablet is running Android 11 and it supports Samsung DeX like the others. I think it’ll get updates for about three years.
The S7 FE is an interesting alternative to the S8+ and S7+ if you want to save some money and don’t need a Super AMOLED screen or a top-performing processor.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022: Cheaper mid-range tablet with S Pen
While the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 is a new tablet, almost nothing has changed compared to its 2020 predecessor. The chipset is a new one and it should get longer updates but that’s it. It’s placed a little bit behind the Galaxy Tab S7 FE and does not look as modern. The performance is similar, however, and it’s much smaller at 10.4 inches which makes it more of a cheaper alternative to the 11-inch Galaxy Tab S8 and S7 tablets.
The full metal body is premium-feeling, it has a USB C 2.0 port and two good speakers. Its 10.4-inch display is a traditional 60Hz LCD and it has a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels. For this price class, the screen is a good one, but it’s weaker than the S8.
Here the S Pen is included as well and works on the S6 Lite 2022 just as it does on the other S Pen tablets. The same Samsung Notes app and the same Air Commands are pre-installed. So, it’s a fantastic tablet for students that are into handwritten notes and want to replace a paper notebook.
It’s not ideal if you also like a good keyboard cover, though. Yes, Samsung is selling two different kinds of keyboard covers but they are much worse and much cheaper-feeling than the ones for the S8 and S8 Plus. If a keyboard is particularly important to you, I wouldn’t get the S6 Lite.
The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset with 4GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB internal storage. In benchmarks, the performance sits just below the LTE Galaxy Tab S7 FE but is stronger than the Galaxy Tab A8 which is cheaper.
Out of the box, it’s running Android 12 and it does support the Samsung DeX desktop mode. I’m pretty sure it’ll get updates for about three years.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3: The best 8-inch Android tablet
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 is a bit unusual because it’s meant to be a working tablet. For truck drivers, factory workers, and use on construction sites. That’s why it has a very rugged design which doesn’t look pretty but is functional. Still, I think it’s the best 8-inch Android tablet on the market right now because it’s lacking competition besides the iPad Mini.
I like that we get an 8-inch screen with a full HD resolution that supports the S Pen which is included. The screen is a good LCD and the stylus works just as it does on the S8 or S7 FE. But it’s also a rugged version of the pen. Android 10 including OneUI is pre-installed and we get the great Samsung Notes app and even the DeX desktop mode.
The performance of its Exynos processor is not outstanding but good enough to play PUBG Mobile and Fortnite with high graphics settings. Intensive multitasking is possible too and once you connect an external monitor, Samsung DeX runs with multiple apps very smoothly.
You can get it with LTE and with that version, you can make phone calls and send SMS text messages. An earpiece is built-in accordingly. So, the Galaxy Tab Active3 can be your normal rugged 8-inch tablet, but also a desktop PC with Samsung DeX, and even a smartphone thanks to LTE and phone support. Sadly, it’s not the prettiest device.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8: Best entry-level tablet
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is not the best in anything – except at its price. It’s much cheaper than the previous tablets on this list. It does not have outstanding performance, no Super AMOLED screen, and not even S Pen support. But it can be a good choice if you’re looking for a simple tablet to watch Netflix and YouTube with or to play a couple of simpler games without having to spend lots of money.
With the Galaxy Tab A8, we get a 10.5-inch LCD screen with a standard full HD resolution. It’s fully laminated and darker than the Galaxy Tab S8. It does not support the S Pen or other active pens. But it has four decent speakers so it’s good enough for watching Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube.
Underneath the screen runs a Unisoc Tiger T618 processor with 3GB or 4GB RAM and 32GB up to 128GB internal storage. You can get versions with 4G LTE and all have a microSD card slot.
In benchmarks, the Galaxy Tab A8 gets pretty weak results but that’s to be expected. Games like World of Tanks and PUBG Mobile can be played with HD graphics settings. A bit of multitasking is possible too but you can tell that it’s weaker here than the S7 FE.
Out of the box, it’s running Android 11 and I’m pretty confident it’ll get Android 12 and 13 in the future. Software features like Samsung Notes are the same as on the premium tablets. But the DeX desktop mode is missing.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite: Best cheap 8-inch tablet
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is the weakest and cheapest tablet on this list. But it can be an interesting choice for some as it’s one of few 8-inch tablets and it’s very affordable. You might love it if you want something cheap to read books with, surf the web, and watch some YouTube. However, it’s not meant for high-end gaming at all. Not even a little bit.
Its highlight is the 8.7-inch LCD screen which is not that amazing but makes the tablet small and portable. Actually, I think it’s a decent screen with a resolution of 1340 x 800 pixels. That’s high enough for most circumstances but when looking carefully, you can see that texts don’t look super sharp. In most cases, it’s bright enough, but it’s a mirror in the sun.
Samsung does not support the S Pen here.
Due to its MediaTek Helio P22T processor with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, it’s weaker than the Galaxy Tab A8 but good enough for simple tasks. You can kind of play demanding games like PUBG Mobile, but with the lowest graphics settings, it doesn’t look great. It’s more of a tablet for games like Super Mario Kart.
The operating system is Android 11 with OneUI. We get Samsung Notes but not DeX. I’m guessing it’ll get Android 12 and 13 but as usual, I can’t tell for sure.
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 continue sending us emails, or comment below, to clear any doubt you have.
In a sentence: We don’t know yet. But we do have an expected timeline when the Galaxy Tab S9 can go official, taking Samsung’s track record into account. The Galaxy Tab S8 is a fairly recent device that came out in the beginning of 2022, while its predecessor — the Galaxy Tab S7 came out around 1.5 years earlier. Based on this, you can expect the Tab S9 to arrive sometime in the third quarter of 2023.
Among the more recently announced Samsung tablets are the Galaxy Tab Active3 and the Tab A7 10.4. Both of them launched just a few weeks apart from each other around September. As you read above, the Tab Active3 is a rugged tablet that is designed for outdoors use and is toughened enough to withstand almost any kind of drops. The Tab A7, on the other hand, is targeted at people wanting a decent large-screen tablet entertainment experience without having to spend a pretty penny.
The entire premium lineup of Samsung tablets supports the S Pen stylus, including the Tab S7, 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.
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.
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 S6
Now a little over a year old, the Tab S6 is nothing short of a flagship tablet even today. It comes with Samsung’s top-class AMOLED display — with a QHD resolution — that brings all the bells and whistles of a high-end screen. Design-wise, the Tab S6 looks very similar to the newer Tab S7, so it isn’t like you’d be missing out on anything on the design front.
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 also has a trackpad.
Talking about its performance, you’re unlikely to see any issues considering the tablet uses the-then flagship Snapdragon 855 processor, which still maintains its muscles for almost all tasks you can throw at it. And 8GB is more than enough RAM for any kind of tablet use, be it work or play.
The three years of software update that Samsung has promised also applies to this Galaxy Tab S6. Considering that, the tablet should last you for a really long time without starting to feel outdated even if you pick it up right now. It’s really great seeing how far Samsung has come in all these years with respect to software support.
In a nutshell, getting the Tab S6 makes more sense especially if you’re getting a decent deal on the device right now. That way, you will not only save a bunch of cash but also get a tablet that won’t feel underpowered by any stretch of the imagination.
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 either side.
With that AMOLED screen, the Tab S5e comes out as a better device than the newer Tab S6 Lite for certain use cases. For instance, if you have an inclination towards the punchier output of Samsung OLED screens, then you’d be better off getting this. And how can we forget the deep blacks it offers, making the on-screen image look almost life-like.
Being a slightly old mode, the Tab S5e may not be able to match the more recent offerings from Samsung in terms of software. However, you can expect the company to keep supporting the device for a while. In terms of battery, the mid-ranger did a fantastic job in our review 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, though the fact that it can be easily attached to a keyboard more than makes up for it. It came with a price tag of $399, but you can easily find it right now retailing for far lower in the second-hand market, or if you get lucky, in a brand-new condition.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
The standout feature of this Samsung mid-ranger is its stylus. The S Pen comes bundled with the Tab S6 Lite, so you don’t need to purchase it separately, and it worked like a charm in our testing. It’s pressure-sensitive can make out your strokes, and doesn’t need charging at all.
It’s quite literally the mid-range note-taking champ that many have been asking for. Not many Android tablet makers do a better job than Samsung with stylus input. The Tab S6 Lite is perhaps the only choice in this segment if you absolutely want the S Pen input.
Meanwhile, the tablet itself feels super-premium with its all-metal build, matching what we’ve seen on pricier Galaxy Tab models. Plus, the thin bezels on the front also add to its modern look and feel.
As a cost-cutting measure, Samsung switched from AMOLED to an LCD panel. While certainly not as good as OLEDs, this LCD was among the better ones we’ve seen on tablets in this range. That display is paired with a stereo speaker setup for ample volume and clarity while watching movies or listening to music.
The Tab S6 Lite comes preloaded with Android 10-based One UI. It uses Samsung’s now-ageing Exynos 9611 processor along with 4GB of RAM. This combination leaves a lot to be desired as the processor creates a bottleneck if you try doing anything more than casual web surfing and stuff like that.
However, you can pick the LTE model of the device, allowing you to get some productivity work done even while you’re on the go. Just make sure to carry a Bluetooth keyboard along, as unlike the Tab S5e, the S6 Lite doesn’t have pogo-pin connectors for attaching accessories.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
Budget Samsung tablets have been our go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a decent device in the sub-$200 price bracket for a very long time. With the new Galaxy Tab A7, Samsung further cemented our belief in its affordable line. The Tab A7 checks a lot of right boxes to be a perfect tablet for many in the market looking for something inexpensive.
This is an updated model from Samsung and comes with a more modern front design with thin bezels. It’s got a pleasing, high-res display, making it great for media consumption. What’s even better is that the A7 has borrowed a feature from the more premium Tab S range — a quad-speaker setup with stereo separation. This makes a world of difference when you’re watching something on Netflix.
On the processing front, the Tab A7 doesn’t disappoint either. It’s got a mid-tier Snapdragon processor, which keeps things running sufficiently fast for most basic things you throw at it. It’s even got plenty of horsepower to last you for a really long time between charges. And if you’re wondering, the Tab A7 does have the 3.5mm audio jack to connect your wired headphones.
It comes preinstalled with Android 10, which should ideally get updated down the line, given Samsung’s recent performance in the software department.
While there’s a lot to like about the Tab A7, we thought that it should come with a fingerprint reader for added convenience in locking your device. Plus, we also missed the support for active pens, which would have been a cherry on the cake.
Frankly, despite those minor issues, you won’t regret getting this tablet one bit, especially for the price it comes at.
Read: Our Galaxy Tab A7 Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4
Available only in the US so far, the 2020 Galaxy Tab A 8.4 is a modern eight incher in Samsung’s stable. It’s got a taller 16:10 screen that stretches nearly edge to edge while sporting a full HD resolution. Its compact size means you can easily carry it along wherever you go for doing some light productivity. The tablet would particularly come in handy for those purposes with its 4G connectivity.
We haven’t had a chance to review this tablet yet, but based on our experience with other Samsung tablets, this model should perform respectably for day-to-day stuff. It’s got an Exynos 7904 processor under the hood paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. When it launched earlier this year, it came running Android Pie out of the box, and Samsung should push an update with newer Android versions.
The Tab A 8.4 could be a perfect add-on for your main work machine for times when you don’t feel like reaching out to your laptop on the desk just to go through your emails. Not only that, but the tablet has also got enough power to help your children with their online classes, and it’s small enough to fit their tiny hands.
A 5000mAh cell underneath sounds large enough to last you a full day or a long flight, given its relatively smaller display. You have the option to quickly juice up, as the tablet does support fast charging using a USB-C charger.
Many use such small-sized tablets to complement their living room entertainment setup. It even works well if you like catching up with YouTube videos before hitting the bed, but don’t want a larger screen right in front of your face while you’re in bed.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 with S Pen
Among the smallest tablets in Samsung’s arsenal, the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 with S Pen is positioned right below the Galaxy Tab S5e, but it still manages to include 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.
Samsung has also included an earpiece on this tablet that allows it to be used as a phone making use of its LTE connection (it’d be awkward to put it up to your ear though). Coming with an in-house Exynos 7904 octa-core chipset, the tablet offers adequate performance and the provided full HD IPS LCD wouldn’t disappoint either.
When it first came out a couple of years back, the Tab A 8.0 with S Pen offered a unique value in its price range. However, its hardware may start to show its age, especially if you expect too much from the device. Plus, it came running Android Pie, and software updates for this old budget device aren’t high on Samsung’s list.
Having said that, if you currently own one of these, it’d be better to hold on to it for a little while longer, considering you are fine with the kind of performance this offers. That’s because there are many tablets in the budget space that can offer you half-decent (or even any) stylus support.
Not to mention, the 8-inch screen size is just the sweet spot for note-taking. You can easily hold the device with one hand while writing with the other. A larger tablet cannot offer that kind of convenience and would be rather unwieldy for this use case.
Noticeably sub-standard things are its plastic body and a single speaker. Scoring a runtime of 9.5 hours in our test, its battery life could’ve been a little better, but still, you’ll easily get through a full day of use.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019) T290
Samsung’s extensive 2019 lineup of tablets got its cheapest member in the form of the Galaxy Tab A 8.0. It’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 if you fall under that category, the Tab A 8.0 could just be the perfect device for you, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot.
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. But don’t expect it to run best of the best games, or anything more than the very basic stuff.
The internals that Samsung went for weren’t particularly top-notch even back when the tablet first came out, so you’d be pushing it if you expect it to keep up with today’s heavy games. Sure, the T290 isn’t that old that it won’t let you do a video call. In fact, given its good battery life, it could be among the better devices to carry around.
You could even hand this inexpensive slate to your kids without worrying about them breaking a more expensive tablet. It’s good enough for your child’s online classes and even some casual gaming now and then.
This Samsung tablet only makes sense if you are on a really tight budget and absolutely cannot afford to spend a dime extra. If you can find one retailing somewhere, you can grab one especially if you don’t find yourself anxiously waiting for software updates to hit your devices.
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 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 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 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.
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 S7+, 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 S7, S6, S6 Lite, 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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