Just when you thought hi-spec tablets running Android might be dead in the water, Samsung has revealed its new Galaxy Tab S3. It's a bold gamble on what many had tipped would now be an operating system consigned to nifty little smartphones. But the Tab S3 runs Android 7 Nougat, comes with an included S Pen, has a premium look and feel, and a 9.7-inch screen that bears a remarkable resemblance to...wait for it...the iPad.
While reviewers are widely describing it as the best Android tablet available on the market, it's left a few scratching their heads, with the question on everyone lips: "Who exactly is it for?"
Well this is what it does, so we'll let you be the judge...
It's a little bit productive
Samsung is billing this as a device to suit work on the go, and it comes with a new redesigned S Pen included. That's a win according to TechRadar who notes the S Pen boasts additional pressure points above those on offer from the Apple Pen. It doesn't roll of the table courtesy of its clip, doesn't need recharging, and it comes as part of the package.
Or in Samsung's words: "The new, redesigned S Pen feels and writes just like your favorite ballpoint, plus it doesn't need recharging. Measuring 9.4 mm in diameter, it ensures a stable, comfortable grip. And we've narrowed the tip to 0.7 mm, for the clearest, most natural handwriting yet."
Samsung are also offering a dedicated keyboard (sold separately) that's been "optimized" for fewer typos. Costing USD $129, it's not cheap, but TechRadar notes it's worth the expense due to the automatic connection that doesn't require pairing. It also features a tidy case that protects the rear of the device and an S Pen holder.
It's a lot of gaming
Graphics play a major role in the Tab S3 and according to Samsung it's geared to gaming. They note: "The Galaxy Game Launcher has been optimized for Galaxy Tab S3's screen, offering Power Saver mode and Mute Games and Ongoing Calls mode. Add in the exciting graphics of the Vulkan API capabilities and the myriad games available in the Galaxy Game Pack for non-stop fun."
Meanwhile it packs the power of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor which is billed as offering a new standard in CPU and GPU performance.
It's totally entertainment
The big feature of the Tab S3 is HDR video playback capability, with Samsung banking on the fact this will soon be widespread. The device also features Samsung's the highly regarded AMOLED display for "bright and colourful" images, and four powerful speakers that automatically follow the direction mode of the screen. Naturally, these features combined make the Tab S3 an ideal candidate for video streaming, and it can do that for up to 12 hours without revisiting the charger.
On the media creation side of things, the front facing camera is 5MP while the rear is 13MP. It is also capable of video recording.
It's possibly a luxury
As Gizmodo explains few people have expressed a desire for an expensive "media consumption machine running little green 'droid brains". But the Tab S3 does offer a great alternative if you're looking for a luxury 2-in-1 to carry on a plane or use as a supplementary device.
It also boasts some seriously sleek looks courtesy of its all-glass design. Weighing in at 429g, it's not a hefty tablet to lug around either and is available with 4GB or 32GB RAM with additional MicroSD storage of up to 256GB.
But all this comes at a price tag similar to the iPad Pro 9.7. The Tab S3 has entered the market at USD$599. And since then Apple's delivered an even cheaper model with the introduction of its latest garden variety iPad.
So the question remains, is Android the system you're looking for? If so, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is arguably the best device around. Oh and BossTab has the tablet stand to suit if you’re looking to use it for point of sale or kiosk applications.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 became available on March 24.