The Galaxy Tab S7+ is one of the new devices unveiled during the Samsung Unpacked virtual event on Aug 5.
It is the flagship tablet of the Samsung Galaxy Tab series, replacing last year’s top-tier Tab S6. This 12.4-inch tablet also has a smaller sibling – the 11-inch Tab S7.
Apart from having a larger screen than the Tab S7, the Tab S7+ also has a larger battery (a 10,090mAh unit compared to the Tab S7’s 8,000mAh one). It uses an in-display fingerprint sensor, unlike the the Tab S7 which has a fingerprint sensor on its side button. The Tab S7+ comes with 5G connectivity, while its smaller sibling only has 4G (both have Wi-Fi-only versions too).
Otherwise, both S7 tablets share the same specifications, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, 120Hz display refresh rate and Wi-Fi 6. Both also include the same improved S Pen stylus.
Design wise, the Tab S7+ looks similar to the 10.5-inch Tab S6, with a sleek and premium-looking grey metallic chassis. The Tab S7+ also retains its predecessor’s excellent quartet of speakers.
While bigger than its predecessor, the Tab S7+ is still really thin and lightweight, measuring 5.7mm thick and weighing 575g.
The front-facing camera is now at the top of the display when the tablet is in landscape mode – great for video-conferencing as you will be in the centre of the frame.
This also means face recognition works better, as your hand will not be blocking the camera, which might happen often with, say, the iPad Pro. I find the face recognition feature to work faster in unlocking the tablet than the in-display fingerprint sensor.
Similar to the Tab S6, the included S Pen stylus can be magnetically attached to the back of the tablet. This stylus is said to have been improved with decreased latency.
Writing or drawing with the S Pen is as fluid as it gets. It really feels like using pen on paper.
But the thing I love most about the Tab S7+ is its gorgeous Amoled display. Browsing websites or just swiping on the screen feels really smooth, thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate.
Whether it is YouTube videos, high dynamic range Netflix shows or video games, content displayed on the Tab S7+ look just lovely and sharp. Games run fast, too. Furthermore, the built-in speakers offer superb stereo output to go with the sumptuous visuals.
For this review, Samsung sent us the optional Keyboard Cover ($358 for Tab S7+), which consists of a rear cover and a front keyboard cover.
The rear cover includes an adjustable kickstand and it magnetically attaches to the back of the tablet, while the front cover connects to one side of the tablet via pogo pin connectors. The rear cover also has a flap to hold the S Pen.
– Best Android tablet currently
– Great for multimedia consumption
– Sleek, lightweight and portable
– Improvements in productivity
– DeX platform needs improvement
– Optional keyboard does not have much “lapability”
– Not cheap
PRICE: $1,598 (Wi-Fi, 256GB), $1,798 (Wi-Fi + 5G, 256GB; version tested); available from Aug 21
PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus (Single-core 3.09GHz, triple-core 2.4GHz and quad-core 1.8GHz)
DISPLAY: 12.4-inch Amoled, 2,800 x 1,752 pixels, 120Hz refresh rate
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 10
MEMORY: 256GB (microSD expandable up to 1TB), 8GB RAM
REAR CAMERAS: 13MP main (f/2.0), 5MP ultra-wide (f/2.2)
FRONT CAMERA: 8MP (f/2.0)
BATTERY LIFE: 4.5/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
And you will want to get this cover to turn the Tab S7+ into a laptop. The keyboard has a small but sufficiently ample touchpad for you to control the “mouse cursor”. On the downside, the kickstand design, which is similar to Microsoft Surface’s, does not provide much “lapability” – the ease of using a device with it resting on your lap. The keyboard also lacks backlight.
In terms of productivity, the Tab S7+ shows marked improvements from its predecessor. It now allows up to three concurrent supported apps (previously only two) in split screen mode in Android, so you can multi-task better.
A new App Pair feature allows you to combine three apps to launch at one go. This feature is accessible via the Edge screen – found in Galaxy smartphones – which lets you quickly access your most used apps with a swipe on the display’s right edge.
You can also switch to Samsung’s DeX mode, which replicates the Windows experience. The feature work wirelessly here so you can mirror the tablet to compatible smart TVs and monitors without needing to use a cable like in the past.
However, the DeX mode still does not give you the productivity of a Windows tablet. For instance, app windows turn small when you switch to DeX and you will have to manually resize them afterwards to be larger. Plus, you cannot use the touchpad to highlight text in the Chrome browser in DeX mode. These are the little irritations that need to be improved.
The Tab S7+ should easily get you through a working day. In our usual video-loop battery test with the display set at the 120Hz refresh rate, it lasted a pretty stunning 11 hours 24 minutes. By comparison, the Tab S6 managed 11 hours 40 minutes with a smaller display and 60Hz refresh rate though with a smaller battery.
The Tab S7+ is undoubtedly the best Android tablet in the market right now. But with prices starting from $1,598, it is not cheap. Add the Keyboard Cover and you are looking at spending around $2,000 – as good as buying a laptop.
But if you pre-order the Tab S7+ now before its launch on Aug 21, you can get the Keyboard Cover for free. With the latter, it means you are effectively getting a laptop as well as a tablet.
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