Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Full Review

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If you’re looking for an Android tablet to go with your Android phone, you should just consider one of Samsung’s other Tab S8 models. But if you’re curious if a giant-screen tablet that runs a mobile operating system makes any sense at this stage, this article is the one that you might want to check out.

The Design

The Tab S8 Ultra brings the design of the other Tab S8 models (which themselves are replicating the Tab S7 design) to a larger scale. It’s an aluminum tablet that’s virtually all screen, with thin bezels and a surprisingly thin chassis. I have not bent the retail unit we purchased for this review in my time with it, but it doesn’t feel like it would take much effort to crunch it in half if that’s your goal.

Aside from its thickness, the other dimensions of the Ultra are Large. It’s nearly two full inches wider than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in landscape orientation (though, thanks to the magic of aspect ratios, it’s about a quarter of an inch shorter than the iPad) and tips the scales at 1.6 pounds before you add a case or any accessories. It’s not the kind of tablet that can be easily held in one hand, and even holding it up with two hands can be quite cumbersome.

The 16:10 aspect ratio is great for a laptop but challenging for a tablet, which might be used equally in portrait or landscape orientations. The Ultra is comical to use in portrait mode, both due to its size and the aspect ratio of its screen.

Of course, the reason for this larger size is the display, which is a 14.6-inch, 2960 x 1848, 120Hz OLED screen. It’s a tremendous display, with the punchy colors and blackest blacks that OLED screens are known for, plus the high refresh rate makes every touch interaction feel very smooth. For movies and video, combined with the loud and powerful speakers, the Ultra’s screen is a treat.

Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Screen
Holding Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

The Keyboard

Since the Tab S8 Ultra is so big, it makes the most sense to use it in a keyboard case, much like you would a laptop. The benefit of the Ultra’s screen being so large is that the keyboard and trackpad in the Book Cover are also quite roomy. We had used it for some time and found out that the keyboard was very comfortable to use. It could let us quickly tune into the laptop mode and start working on our work with the tablet.

If you have you are those users who prefer to use a Keyboard/Mouse instead, you could also get one of the Wireless Keyboard/Mouse or a USB-C adapter to connect a Bluetooth Keyboard/Mouse with its USB-C connecting port.

Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Keyboard
Using Bluetooth Mouse on Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

The SPen

The Tab S8 Ultra ships with an S Pen that delivers the lowest latency of any Samsung tablet to date – 2.8ms. Samsung also customizes its One UI interface to take advantage of the pen and all that screen space. It’s very good for writing notes, doodling, or marking up screenshots on the display. The S Pen can be magnetically attached to the back of the Ultra, just like the other Tab S8 models, where it can be stored and charged. I can’t speak to how well it works for digital artists as we do not have knowledge in this area but based on others’ reviews, it looks awesome to us. It back case would be one of the must-have cases because if you don’t have a case on the tablet, don’t be surprised if the pen gets knocked off in your bag.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Notes and SPen
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Notes SPen
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Back Cover
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Back Cover

The Camera

The last bit of hardware that makes the Ultra unique is its dual wide and ultrawide front-facing cameras, which live in a notch that cuts into the top of the screen. The cameras are fine — about on par with what you get from other tablets and work well enough for video calls. The notch is also fine — it never once distracted us or blocked us from seeing important information on the screen.

Samsung has added a feature that attempts to automatically keep your face in the center of the frame in a video call and it works fine in our opinion.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Front Camera
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Back Camera
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Front Camera
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Back Camera

The Performance

Inside, the Tab S8 Ultra is the same as the other Tab S8 models, though with the option for more RAM in the higher storage tiers. It has Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 paired with between 8 and 16GB of RAM. Its performance has been snappy and responsive for all the tasks we’ve asked of it so far.

Samsung DeX

Samsung’s split-screen multitasking to share the screen with one or two other apps, or you can flip over to the windowed DeX environment to layer app windows on top of each other which is awesome for our daily use. The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is also good at video watching and game streaming or emulation too. We were impressed with Samsung DeX’s performance where we could do almost all of our work with this feature.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Gaming
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

Charger

The Ultra supports up to 45-watt charging, so chargers from most modern laptops will work fine which makes the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra perfect for travel. By using the 45W plug the tablet went from 0-13% in 15 minutes and up again to 29% in half an hour. In total it took an average of 1 hour 35 minutes to go from 0-100% charge.

During my tests, we found, that we could comfortably get a full week’s casual use out of the S8 Ultra as a personal tablet. This entailed using it for the morning, lunchtime, and evening streaming and web browsing while off work. Sitting at our desk with this setup and the tablet propped up on the second monitor, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra managed to last a full 9-5 pm daily with a good 15-20% of its charge still intact. The figure can also be easily improved if you lock the refresh rate to 60Hz in the tablet’s display settings, which lets us add an extra 5-10% to that figure.

Ultimately, the Tab S8 Ultra is a tablet that’s the size of a laptop, mimics a laptop’s form factor (especially when paired with its keyboard case), and comes with the price tag of a laptop. But it’s far from as capable as a laptop that is more comfortable to use and easier to be productive with. We loved what we could do with it. Its long-lasting battery is a super plus point for us especially since we are travelers who are always on the go and of course, it’s more lightweight than the MacBook Pro that we had been bringing around all this while.

If you would like to know more about the Samsung Galaxy’s Tab S8 Ultra specification, check out our first impression review at: https://erayn3.com/samsung-galaxy-tab-s8-ultra-first-impression/ or visit Samsung’s Offical website at https://www.samsung.com/my/tablets/galaxy-tab-s/galaxy-tab-s8-ultra-wifi-graphite-256gb-sm-x900nzajxme/

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