Does size matter, and does size deliver a better experience? It does if you are the owner of the all new Samsung TabS7+ tablet, which comes with a neat new pen.
Every day for the past five years a 10″ Samsung tablet has played a key part of my life, from first thing in the morning when I want to grab the latest headlines, to watching Foxtel sport when I am away, to accessing emails on the fly, or at night when I want to read a book.
My 10″ Samsung tablet has a SIM, and this made a massive difference at airports or when away from a Wi-Fi network.
Earlier this month I was given the all-new 12.4” Samsung Tab S7+ and wow what a difference – not just in size but performance. The fact that it has a pen that hangs out magnetically on the back of the device is a big plus, especially when writing, flicking through pages, or scrolling.
I have been blown away by the sheer comfort factor of accessing content on a device that is thin and light in the hand but significantly larger than what I have used in the past to access content.
What’s instantly noticeable is that this brand-new Android tablet has an ultra-smooth 2800 x 1752, 120Hz AMOLED display, that delivers 266 pixels per inch.
Content is bright and crisp especially when watching sport – it’s as good as any 4K TV. The tablet comes with Android 10 software, overlaid with version 2.5 of Samsung’s One UI, but I am still trying to work out the difference from prior models.
Helping in the delivery of improved performance is that Samsung has incorporated a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus mobile platform processor, which, like a Samsung TV, is a critical component when you want quality and above all performance.
Processors today are the reason that one pays a tad more for a device. It’s also the reason that the ultra-low latency S Pen that comes with this tablet is able to perform like never before in a tablet.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset is one of the best chipsets available on the market today.
There’s 6GB of RAM onboard, which should be more than enough for image management drawing and playing games.
One also has a choice of 128GB or 256GB of storage.
Writing is like writing on a notepad with a ballpoint pen.
What I don’t like is the omission of a SIM across the entire premium range. Anyone investing in a tablet over 12” is more than likely to be a power user and likely to be a big consumer of data, often outside of a Wi-Fi network they own. Airports, train station or shopping centre Wi-Fi networks are a major risk to security and having one’s own SIM capability is a preferred way to go.
As far as design goes, the Galaxy Tab S7+ looks like previous Samsung tablets.
This tablet has is a 120Hz refresh rate, and this means the on-screen image refreshes more frequently than on devices with a lower rate, and that when you play games you get a better experience not only because of the bigger display but the improved refresh rate.
The edges of this tablet are more squared than on previous models, but it feels no different in the hand.
The speaker grilles are located on the top and bottom edges of the tablet, and there’s a USB-C on the bottom edge as well.
What I do like is the way that the pen can attach to the rear of the screen via a magnet attachment that recharges the pen while docked. At first I was sceptical, but after two weeks of use I still have the pen.
Personally I like flicking pages, opening apps or scrolling through bookmarks and files with my pen vs my finger. There are less smears on the screen, you can sketch or annotate documents, and as for writing, there is now no difference between writing with a ball pen on paper than writing on the screen with the new and much improved Samsung pen.
The new S Pen feels more substantial than previous pens. As for input recognition, the Samsung rates at 9ms, which is as good as anything Apple has got.
I did not have a cover so I suspect that with a cover the pen will be more secure in its own cover enclave.
Also on-board is an in-screen fingerprint reader and facial recognition. The in-screen sensor works fast, and it even illuminates your fingertip with light, which is smart.
The tablet’s cameras are more practical than top-end models.
For the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus, the front-facing selfie cam is ideal for Zoom meetings. The Tab S7 has an 8MP front camera. The S7+ has 13MP & 5MP rear-facing cameras, which deliver solid shots clarity and colour accuracy.
The 8MP selfie camera for video calling has been located on the right-hand edge of the screen, which makes it a better location for when you’re video calling with the tablet in landscape.
The tablet is powered by an 8,000mAh battery – that’s significantly better than what I have ever got with a tablet before. On one occasion I got two days of solid use out of this battery.
There’s also 45W fast-charging technology that repowers the battery super quick.
Microsoft + DeX
Right now, Samsung and Microsoft are cuddling up to each other to sell more products – Microsoft more Office 365 subscriptions and Samsung more hardware – and the marriage makes sense.
The courtship has led to increased integration and optimisation with Office applications in Android and DeX mode, so Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint work pretty well.
Despite this, there is still a lot more software development needs to get DeX working properly. It’s still patchy, but a big step forward from past Samsung tablets.
I am confident that we will see a seamless integration of DeX and Microsoft apps across Samsung devices soon.
This is an excellent workhorse tablet that doubles as a good entertainment device. Size does impress, and I doubt that I, for one, will go back to a smaller tablet, especially as this device, despite the 12.4” of real estate, is not heavy.
The pen is seriously impressive, allowing one to write, cut and paste, and annotate layouts and then with a flick of the pen share it. I get access to all my Office 365 apps while also being able to play games and watch movies that look as good as a TV, though on a much smaller screen.
If you want to go big with a tablet, the new Samsung Galaxy S7+ is the one to do it with and I highly recommend a 5G SIM model.