The phrase New Normal might be overused but these uncertain times have enlivened a tech category that had sort of quietened down – tablets. WFH has brought these versatile devices back in focus. While the sub Rs 20,000 tabs have been cannibalised by large screen smartphones that are ready to breach the 7-inch threshold, it’s the premium tabs segment that can truly stake the claim to be serious productivity devices.
This segment is dominated by Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s premium S series tabs and Microsoft Surface devices that lean more on work than play. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7+ arrives during these interesting times with a slew of enhancements. We already know that it’s the Android tab to beat, the bigger question is whether this has enough productivity tools to replace your laptop? That’s what we’ll address first in our deep-dive.
For over a week, I swapped my laptop for the Tab S7+ as my primary work device. It was also the same week that I made my first business trip in a few months with the Tab S7+ filling in for my laptop. The first thing you will notice about the S7+ is just how slim and portable this device is. It’s an incredible 5.7 mm thin and weighs just 575 gm, remarkable for a device with a large 12.4-inch screen. The keyboard cover might be an optional accessory but is a bare essential for anyone looking to use this as a productivity device. It adds an additional 505 gm to the whole package that still feels quite compact and easy to lug around.
Samsung has made visible improvements to this keyboard. It’s much easier to type with multiple function keys. We also dig the Book cover keyboard’s free stop hinge that allows multiple viewing angles that can adapt to different apps or usage scenarios. Samsung’s proprietary DeX solution that mimics a laptop allows you to maximise the device’s productivity creds. And then there’s the S-Pen that’s bundled in the box. It features all the improvements that we experienced in the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The newest S-Pen has reduced the latency; it’s almost like scribbling on real paper. It all comes together rather well, making the Tab S7+ a viable option for Content creation whether you’re typing a word doc or working on a spreadsheet. I’d still prefer a conventional laptop for a complex spreadsheet or a PowerPoint pitch deck with multiple layers. While DeX is a great solution, the lack of a dedicated Tab version of Android remains one of our only cribs about this device.
The argument for Content consumption has always been stronger for Samsung’s premium Tabs. The S7+ boasts of a stunning display that further underlines it’s case for videos or gaming. The 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display (2800×1752 pixels) crams 287 pixels per inch and gets a further boost with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s easily one of the best screens for binge watching on the go. The AKG tuned quad speakers add to the immersive appeal. The variable refresh rate also helps the device optimise battery – it opts for the 120Hz refresh rate only when the Content demands the higher refresh rate. Battery life is one of the tab’s strong points – a 10,090 mAh battery makes sure you won’t reach for the charger even after a whole day of work or play. Our experience validates Samsung’s claim of 14 hours of video playback.
Samsung’s premium tabs are usually hardware beasts, the Tab S7+ is no exception. At its heart is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor that teams up with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of Internal memory. There’s a dedicated slot for Micro SD cards (up to 1 TB) and a SIM slot – this device is 5G ready. This hardware spec sheet combined with the screen make it a fun device for intensive gaming. It doesn’t come cheap, but the Tab S7+ has all you need for a device that can blend work and play seamlessly. It’s not just the best Android tab out there but one of the best laptop alternatives you can buy right now.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ costs Rs 79,999. The Keyboard Cover costs Rs 14,999. Check for the latest offers from Samsung on the Tab S7+