Samsung's Galaxy Tab S8 - tablet refined

Despite how long it's taken for me to write this review on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, I have to admit it's because there's not a lot to write about.

I'd just reviewed the ZTE ZPAD 10, and I have to admit that I was fairly disappointed with it in terms of performance - whereas the Tab S4 which has been my steady tablet companion for almost 4 year, still churns out the great performance.

So, when I was optioned to review the Galaxy Tab S8, there wasn't a lot that was super wowing.  It had the steady performance that it was known for; great performance.  And it's saying something for Samsung that a device from 4 years previous chugs along as swimmingly as the new model.

Now, don't take that to mean that the 8 is as 'slow' as the 4.  Rather, it's that it performs so well that I do not notice any stuttering on it.  I don't think there is anything I was throwing at the 8 that would truly test its need to break a sweat.

Let's dive in.

First up, it's the base Tab S8, there is also the S8+ and the S8 Ultra (which brings more space).

  • 11" @ 2560x1600 120Hz
  • Snapdragon SM8450 (3GHz x1 + 2.5GHz x3 + 1.8GHz x4)
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB storage (+microSD slot - 1TB max)
  • Main camera - 13MP (f/2.0, 26mm, 1/3.4", 1.0┬Ám) + 6MP ultrawide (f/2.2)
  • Selfie camera - 12MP (f/2.4, 120°)
  • 8000mAh
  • Fingerprint sensor on power button
  • No headphone
  • S-Pen

For that, this is about $900CDN, which is a fairly decent price for a tablet and the Pen, and you do get some top end specs on this.

On the tablet there is a fingerprint sensor placed into the power button.


It's a real slick looking device with the thin profile, even tho' it does have a dual camera lens set up on the back - right along the strip where you can have the S-Pen magnetically hang out.  You can barely notice that it's not laying flush in the above shot).


To be honest, I'm not sure I'd want to go for the + or the Ultra as they're just bigger.  Sure, then the screens are also SuperAMOLED (vs. the base which is TFT) and they have HDR displays, but I like this one enough and the size factor is much more hand friendly I find.

An interesting piece on it is that it has NO HEADPHONE JACK.  


Normally, don't care about that as I have wireless everything.  But, a tablet is different to me.  To me, it is one of those devices you'd want to have plugged in as you're relaxing in your chair or immersed in a game of PUBG or watching a movie on a plane, you're spending time and wireless just may not cut it.

So, grab a dongle for that.  And then while you're buying accessories this is where things can get expensive.  As much as I like a tablet, I do want it to be versatile, so having the keyboard case is going to be another $250ish and then to really make the most of a tablet (I hope they come with a little holder for the pen again.  

port for the accessories like a keyboard case

Now, maybe this is where you'd want to get the S8 Ultra and the keyboard case which has a mouse touchpad (the S8 doesn't)... but that's a $460 accessory on top of the extra cost of the tablet.

Anyways...

There's not a lot to really write home about for this tablet.  It has all the same Samsung accoutrements we've seen in others.  I've especially liked the Gaming Mode options where you can mute notifications from popping up just as you try to equip a good scope, or set up recording.

The S-Pen has all its neat features of grabbing screens and writing away.


Unfortunately, I didn't get a Pen to try with the review, so I made do with my old S4 S-Pen, which worked, but didn't get many of the Air Functions, where you can live out your inner Harry Potter and flick the pen in ways to get it to get the tablet to react.


I love how DeX is feeling more and more like a proper 'OS' rather than some new look it's jammed in.


I often have a USB-C adapter with my monitor here on HDMI and plugging in the device brings up DeX on the monitor.  


Sadly it doesn't do the dual monitor thing.  It sorta does, where the external is DeX but the tablet is in standard home screen (One UI).  Which is fine that you can have the mouse and keyboard working on the DeX but you still need to touch and tap on the tablet.  

I want to have a dual monitor deal... first world problems.

Overall, it's been an amazing device that I don't think I could make it slow down and sputter.  Playing games, watching movies, hammering out long formulae on spreadsheets... it did it all and is the perfect device for me to work on.  Not everytime do I want to break out the desktop and load up and sometimes the phone is just too small to work on

Tablets fill a void perfectly for those wanting to get work done no matter what, and this Tab S8 will handle everything and not blink.

You will not be disappointed whatsoever.

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