The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a massive iPad Pro competitor.
Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy Tab S8 tablets have arrived, along with a new “Ultra” member.
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, like its smartphone cousin, is larger, more powerful, and more expensive than the previous models.
The high-end slate is positioned as a laptop replacement, and its high price puts it in direct competition with Apple’s iPad Pro.
The Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8+, two less expensive tablets that are premium in their own right, were announced alongside the Ultra at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event.
In many ways, the Tab S8+ is a scaled-down version of the Ultra, whereas the Tab S8 is more of an iPad Air competitor, trading luxury features for a more pleasing experience.
Samsung is doubling down on Android tablets with these new releases, particularly the Ultra, and making a risky bet that cutting-edge hardware and its DeX software platform can overcome the limitations of an operating system that, not long ago, seemed destined to be replaced on large-screen devices.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a laptop replacement and an iPad Pro competitor.
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra comes with a number of new features, the most notable of which is a 14.6-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2960 x 1848 pixels.
This panel technology had already been seen on the S7+ (and now the S8+), but not at this scale.
The S8+ is significantly larger than the other models, with more screen real estate than even the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, as you can see below.
As a result, the S8 Ultra is a clumsy tablet with dimensions of 12.9 x 8.2 x 0.22 inches and a weight of 1.6 pounds.
However, waking up with weary arms would be worth it to carry this device around; the huge display looked stunning during a brief hands-on session we attended, and might very well make this the best device we’ve ever seen.
We’re excited to compare it to the iPad Pro’s miniLED panel to determine if it deserves the title.
Samsung’s motivation for extending the screen is twofold: to better multitask and to make films more immersive.
The first is achieved not just by using a bigger display but also by reducing the bezels to 6.3mm, giving the Tab S8 Ultra the best screen-to-body ratio of the group.
It draws your attention to the bed of pixels and gives you the impression that you’re walking around with your own personal television (which, coincidently, Samsung previously attempted with the ill-fated Galaxy View).
Those slim frames come at the cost of a notch at the top of the screen, a design element that is sure to irritate users.
“As we become more reliant on videos to stay connected and engaged, we recognize that a tablet’s most enticing feature is its huge screen and portability,” said TM Roh, president and head of Samsung’s MX Business, in a statement unveiling the tablet portfolio.
“With the first Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, we capitalized on years of innovation in mobile experiences to refine the Galaxy Tab S8 series and push the frontiers of what’s possible on a tablet.”
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, which is only available in graphite, has a luxury look and feel to it.
It should also be fairly durable, given that the exterior is made of “Armor Aluminum,” a Samsung-developed alloy.
It’s the same technology that makes Samsung’s folding phones more durable.
In a statement announcing the tablet lineup, TM Roh, president and head of Samsung’s MX Business, said, “As we become more reliant on videos to stay connected and engaged, we recognize that a tablet’s most enticing feature is its huge screen and portability.”
“We used years of innovation in mobile experiences to refine the Galaxy Tab S8 series and push the boundaries of what’s possible on a tablet with the first Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.”
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, which is only available in graphite, has a high-end appearance and feel.
Given that the outside is comprised of “Armor Aluminum,” a Samsung-developed alloy, it should be fairly sturdy. Samsung’s folding phones are more robust thanks to the same technology.
Because the Tab S8 Ultra has a 13-megapixel standard camera and a 6MP ultra-wide lens on the back, as well as a pair of 12MP (wide and ultra-wide) cameras on the front, you might need the extra space.
The ability to record 4K video with either the rear camera or the wide-angle selfie lens will take up a lot of data.
Samsung’s new “auto-framing technology” takes a page from Apple’s Center Stage iPad Pro feature and keeps you centered within the frame, ensuring crisp video calls.
When a participant leaves, it zooms in, and when they take a seat next to you, it zooms out.
Samsung didn’t provide specific battery life ratings, but it claims the Tab S8 series tablets have a “all-day battery” that allows for hours of video playback (hopefully).
The Ultra’s 11,200 mAh battery can charge from 0 to 100 percent in 90 minutes when it’s running low on power.
The Tab S8+ and Tab S8’s 10,090 mAh and 8,000 mAh batteries, respectively, charge in under 80 minutes owing to 45W fast charging.
The tablets can also serve as a portable charger for your Galaxy phone when connected via USB-C.
The Tab S8 Ultra is designed to be used for both work and play, which requires a keyboard.
Samsung’s version, which was created exclusively for the Ultra, is tempting.
It’s called the Book Cover Keyboard, and it has broad keys, backlighting, programmable shortcut settings, a glass touchpad, and adjustable stand angles—everything you need to turn a tablet into a laptop in terms of hardware.