Friday, August 21, 2020

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Review

The new galaxy tab s7 from Samsung is probably the best android tablet along with the s7 plus that exists on the market especially when it comes to the hardware and design, but it's still an android tablet and that comes with its share of both advantages and disadvantages. Samsung has gone with the design on this tablet that very closely resembles apple's ipad pro and the new ipad air which is not a bad thing at all and I like it a lot. It's got rounded corners and a flat frame that makes it feel very industrial as well as modern at the same time.

The back of the s7 has a matte coating for fighting the good fight against those fingerprints but I've noticed that it does pick up a fair bit more fingerprints than other matte finishes you're probably going to want to pick up some sort of case for this tablet anyway given the fact that it's razor thin and probably isn't the most durable tablet on the market. It does have an all metal construction which does make it feel nice and premium but let's just say I'm not confident it would pass the jerry rig everything bend test. Also on the back is a protrusion for the wide and ultra wide cameras more on those later as well as a strip for magnetically holding the included s pen.

It's a little bit awkward and it takes me a few tries to get that s pen in the right place on the back for wireless charging but it's fine Samsung has combined the power button this year with a fingerprint scanner on the s7 and it seems to be snappy and accurate enough for daily use although i find the power button placement a little bit awkward overall up here at the top there's also some contacts at the bottom of the tablet for attaching accessories like Samsung's new keyboard cover which is expensive although it's quite a bit cheaper than apple's version around the front of the tablet we've got an 11 inch lcd display with a quad hd resolution that runs at a 120 hertz refresh rate as you'd expect with those kinds of specs.

It looks great and it feels very fast and responsive it's got hdr 10 plus support for movies and video and even though this isn't an oled panel the contrast is still very good and absolutely nothing to complain about Samsung has also upgraded these stereo speakers on these tablets and they actually sound better than the ones on my 2020 ipad pro which is no small feat because the speakers on the ipad are already extremely good while i don't go crazy over the s pen on the note series i find it much more usable on the s7 with the reduced latency down to 26 milliseconds it feels extremely smooth and fluid to write or draw with students are going to love this pen i always get a kick out of using the text conversion tool in the notes because i consider my writing to be fairly illegible but the tablet seems to have no trouble taking my chicken scratch writing and turning it into text something interesting that Samsung has done on this tablet is put the front-facing camera in the bezel on the side instead of at the top so that when the tablet is propped up on its side you can use the camera properly for things like video calling which is i think a good move especially in these times and this is what it looks and sounds like when you're using that front-facing camera on the galaxy tab s7.

It's not bad it's about webcam quality but it's perfect for you know video calls or anything like that as for the cameras on the rear of the tablet well let's just say you're not going to be taking the tab s7 wherever you go for the camera performance they're fine as far as a tablet goes but I've definitely seen better also while i prefer that manufacturers go with an ultra wide instead of a telephoto on smartphones i actually think it's more useful to have a telephoto on tablets so that students can zoom in and take pictures of the whiteboard in a big lecture hall or something like that in any case the tablet can shoot up to 4k video at 30 frames per second if you're into that but don't expect it to be flagship smartphone to your video or photos for that matter all right let's talk about performance and then we'll get into software experience one of those is really good and the other is really not so good you can probably guess which is which inside the tab s7 you get the latest snapdragon 865 plus chip from qualcomm along with six gigs of ram and from 128 to 512 gigs of ufs 3.0 storage that is expandable with a micro sd card slot decent specs all the way around and the performance isn't really lacking anywhere.

It can handle pretty much anything you throw at it the 865 plus is a top tier cpu the six gigs of ram might be a little bit lackluster if you intend to do some hardcore multitasking but i doubt many people will run into issues on the performance side of things the software experience is a bit of a different story okay let's talk about the tablet category as a whole tablets can be powerful laptop replacements if done right you don't have to look any further than Microsoft's surface line to see that even apple has dipped into this segment and they did it so well that i actually ditched my macbook pro in favor of the ipad pro video up here if you're interested but if the software is lacking they can also fall into this awkward middle child category where you still have to use your laptop or your desktop for more advanced workloads but you also have your phone to do the lighter stuff like responding to emails or browsing social media so the tablet just becomes something that's rarely convenient to use and unfortunately I think that's where the tab s7 is positioned certain software features like dex which turns your tablet into a more desktop-like experience could have changed the game but it feels half-baked and it makes me feel like the developers kind of just gave up on it i couldn't even get mouse support to properly work on it without a significant amount of latency.

Samsung's browser app is another example it's still a mobile browser which means sites that are optimized for mobile use are ironically unoptimized for a display this big and they frequently prompt you to use the app which are in some cases also unoptimized for android tablets most apps look just okay on the 7.6 inch inner display of the z-fold 2 but on the even larger 11-inch display of the tab s7 things start to look stretched out look that's not a deal breaker but it means the entire experience of using this tablet is a little awkward at times i mean everything you do involves using an app so if all the apps are unoptimized for a larger display everything feels awkward so here's the deal if you're the kind of person that wants a tablet for things like watching netflix making video calls playing games writing notes or drawing with the s pen the s7 will do all of those things excellently it also has the added bonus of being a hundred dollars cheaper than the ipad pro and including a stylus like the s pen in the box something that apple charges a 120 premium for the samsung galaxy tab s7 is an excellent android tablet one of the best in fact but it's still just an android tablet nothing more nothing less.