When it comes to Android tablets, most probably think Amazon Fire and that’s mainly because these are some of the cheapest, bang for your buck Android tablets out there. The problem with these are that you are locked in Amazon’s ecosystem and the OS on these are based on older versions of Android. You also don’t get access to the Google Play Store or any of Google’s apps, unless you hack them of course. However, if you want an Android tablet that is much better and is officially supported by Google, you should look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Tab series, mainly because they are one of the few big brands left making quality Android tablets. While the Galaxy Tab comes in a wide range of models, we’ll be looking at the top of the line Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, which is a 12.4″ tablet featuring some of the highest specs currently on any Android tablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ has some truly impressive specs and features, much of which outshine almost every other Android tablet out there. The version Samsung sent to us to evaluate is the Wi-Fi model which features Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax). There is a 5G model, but this isn’t it. The processor being used is a Qualcomm SDM865+ quad-core processor with 6GB RAM with the 128GBV storage model and 8GB RAM for the 256/512GB storage models. That makes the Galaxy Tab S7+ very quick and powerful enough to run pretty much any app and game thrown at it.
Other notable specs include the gorgeous 12.4″ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This can be switched to 60Hz to conserve battery life. Speaking of which, the battery here is a 10,090mAh unit. For media buffs, there are also four speakers tuned by AKG with Dolby Atmos surround sound. While great for media, the Galaxy Tab S7+ is also a productivity tool and thus has full support for Samsung’s brilliant S-Pen accessory, which is included in the box.
For security, the Tab S7+ can be unlocked via face recognition, with the under-display fingerprint reader, or with a traditional passcode.
So the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ will probably draw a lot of comparisons to the Apple iPad Pro, especially the 12.9″ model. They are similar in dimension, though the Galaxy Tab S7+ seems to be a tiny bit thinner, and not as wide, due to the aspect ration here being more for widescreen viewing. The screen is very large here and is pretty much edge to edge, though there is a small bezel around the display.
Aside from the glass display, the rest of the Galaxy Tab S7+ is made of aluminum, and this one here is in Mystic Black. It looks pretty striking in this color and if I were to buy one, it would probably be in this color too or in the Mystic Blue. The edges on this tablet are pretty flat and fairly sharp edged so holding it isn’t quite as comfortable as you would want it to be. The iPad is pretty much the same way. Unlike the iPad, the Galaxy Tab S7+ is more landscape biased and that’s how Samsung really wants you to use it.
This is exemplified in the fact that the front camera is located on the side of the display and the four speakers are mounted on the top and bottom of the tablet, two on each side. Even the logos on the back are etched in sideways. For the most part, I’ve been using it in landscape more mainly because media consumption this way looks so much better and makes better use of the screen real estate. Of course, not all apps will work in landscape mode so it’s kind of a trial and error thing there.
Other notable design features include cameras on the back as well as a place to magnetically hold your S-Pen. First starting with the cameras, it’s just a double camera hump with a flash included. It’s not very large and is fairly tame when compared to what’s appearing on phone’s these days. The part where the S-Pen can charge magnetically is made of tinted glass it seems and is a little longer than the length of the pen.
Speaking of which, the S-Pen is very nice and feels much more substantial and pencil like than the S-Pens that are included with the Note series phones. These are way more comfortable to hold. There’s a button on the S-Pen for some secondary functions and a flat side to the S-Pen so it sits nicely on the tablet.
The Galaxy Tab S7+ is also pretty light, weighing in at just 1.30 lbs, which is also lighter than an iPad Pro 12.9″.
I’m not really going to say too much here. Basically the tablet experience here is similar to using their regular smartphones. It runs Android 11 and has the latest One UI 3.1 launcher. The interface is very clean and works well in both landscape and portrait modes.
I do like the fact that it seems like this is getting a lot of the latest updates, which I believe was a issue in the past with older tablets. As of this review, the tablet did receive the June security update.
I should mention that Samsung DEX is present here and unlike on the phone, DEX can be enabled without the use of an external display. That means that on the Galaxy Tab S7+. you can easily swap between DEX and standard Android.
I’ll admit that it’s been several years since I’ve actually used a tablet. Most of what I’d use a tablet for, I just do it on my phone and if I need a larger screen, I use my desktop or my laptop. My phone is a Galaxy S21 Ultra so the screen is fairly large and good enough for most of my media consumption and gaming. When I travel, I just use my laptop because of the convenience of having a keyboard and multitasking.
However, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ could essentially be a laptop replacement with the proper accessories. For instance, if you grab the optional Book Cover Keyboard and then add a Bluetooth mouse, it’s pretty much almost like a laptop, especially if you enable DEX mode. DEX on the Galaxy Tab S7+ is similar to DEX on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, except you don’t need an external display for it to work. Instead, you can switch between regular Android and DEX right from the pull-down shortcut menu which does make the Galaxy Tab S7+ very convenient. I should also mention that the S-Pen makes as a decent mouse replacement too.
If you can find the right apps to integrate into your workflow, I can see the Galaxy Tab S7+ replacing your laptop.
Aside from that, I do see some value with the tablet form factor over using just your smartphone or laptop. For instance, in tablet form, it’s still thinner and lighter than a laptop. That means easier to carry around when you don’t need a full keyboard with you. Next, watching movies and videos on this is a joy. The aspect ration is near perfect and the audio from the AKG speakers is amazing. It beats watching videos on the smaller phone screens, though is comparable to a laptop.
Most of all though, everything is fast with pretty much little to no lag. The Snapdragon 865 helps a lot and keeps everything running smoothly.
Also, in combination with the S-Pen, the Galaxy Tab S7+ makes for an amazing creation tool. Whether you’re using it to take written notes are using an app like Sketchbook to make art, the S-Pen really raises this tablet to another level. The S-Pen on the Galaxy Tab S7+ makes more sense then on a smartphone where space is limited. To me, the S-Pen really makes the Galaxy Tab S7+ shine and is an invaluable tool. I do however wish there was a better solution to hold it in place though instead of just magnetically on the back.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is the very best Android tablet you can buy right now. The specs alone blow pretty much any other Android tablet out of the water. The only other tablet that comes close is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and last years Tab S6. Go figure. The Galaxy Tab S7+ is near perfect with its gorgeous display, fast processor, and up-to-date software. The only issue is that this tablet is a bit on the expensive side and definitely on the upper end of the price spectrum when it comes to Android tablets.
This could be alleviated a bit with a smaller form factor which is something I wish Samsung would do, like a Galaxy Tab S7+ Mini. Maybe something that’s about 1/3 or 1/2 the size but with the same exact specs and features. I know that would be impossible with the battery, but everything else should be the same. I mean you could go for the Galaxy Tab S7 which is a tiny bit smaller and cheaper, but I’d like to see them go smaller that that.
Overall though, I’m digging the Galaxy Tab S7+. If I was in the market for the absolute best, I’d definitely go with this. It has the power to be a laptop replacement if need be and makes for an absolute beast when it comes to media consumption.
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