The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 might not appear as a significant leap beyond its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, at a cursory glance. While this holds true to a certain extent, Samsung has indeed infused this tablet with several crucial enhancements.
In fact, one could argue that the Galaxy Tab S9 has undergone more notable improvements compared to its counterpart devices—the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra—relative to their respective predecessors.
So, what are the fresh elements gracing the Galaxy Tab S9?
Measuring at 10.01 x 6.53 x 0.23 inches and weighing 1.10 pounds, the Galaxy Tab S9 retains nearly identical dimensions and weight to its predecessor. It boasts an exquisite aluminum build that exudes durability and a pleasing tactile experience. Thanks to its sleek form and featherweight design, you can expect to hold this tablet comfortably for extended periods.
As in the past, a subtle elevation on the tablet’s rear accommodates the rear camera, while a magnetized strip facilitates S Pen attachment and charging. A solitary USB-C port is positioned along the lower edge, while the left edge houses a port for the attachment of the Book Cover Keyboard Slim. The power button, volume rocker, and microSD card slot are all located on the tablet’s right edge.
To begin with, the tablet now boasts an OLED display akin to the high-end Tab S9 Plus and Tab S9 Ultra. Alongside, it features a more robust build, rendering it dust and water-resistant, and incorporates an enhanced rear camera along with a swifter chipset.
The fresh OLED display brings a remarkable visual upgrade to the Galaxy Tab S9. To my eyes, it outshines its predecessor with its richer colors and heightened vibrancy. During my hands-on experience, the videos I watched exhibited remarkable detail, with clear demarcation between darker and brighter elements.
A comprehensive assessment of the display’s capabilities will be made when we subject the Galaxy Tab S9 to our rigorous testing in the lab. Nonetheless, to me, this vivid display represents a commendable enhancement over the Galaxy Tab S8.
Similar to the entire Galaxy Tab S9 lineup, the Galaxy Tab S9 is equipped with the identical Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor as the one featured in the Samsung Galaxy S23 smartphone series. Additionally, this new tablet operates on Android 13.
As with the display, a comprehensive assessment of its overall performance necessitates subjecting the tablet to our meticulous testing procedures in the lab. However, during my brief hands-on experience, I observed that the interface exhibited swift responsiveness—an aspect that doesn’t consistently hold true with the Android operating system. Genshin Impact operated smoothly enough, though we did notice a reduction in the game’s resolution, presumably to uphold optimal performance. Watching videos and browsing web pages yielded a seamless experience.
The S Pen
For those who utilize tablets for writing or drawing, it’s delightful to learn that all Galaxy Tab S9 tablets are accompanied by Samsung’s S Pen. This S Pen now boasts a latency of 2.8ms, and its pressure-sensitive button has been raised for enhanced usability.
A new addition is the stylus’s ability to charge on the magnetic strip, regardless of whether it’s positioned upright or not. If you plan to use the tablet by the pool or at the beach, the reassuring news is that both the S Pen and tablet carry an IP68 waterproof rating.
Employing the S Pen on the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra provides an astonishing writing experience, replicating the sensation of a pen gliding smoothly across paper as it moves across the screen. The S Pen’s ergonomic design intuitively fits users’ hands, offering enhanced control and more precise pen strokes.
Users now have less to fret about when it comes to misplacing the S Pen with the Galaxy Tab S9 series. When the flat side of the S Pen is placed on the top edge or adjacent to the rear camera, it magnetically attaches. Additionally, the S Pen for the Galaxy Tab S9 series introduces a new two-way charging feature, enabling users to charge the pen in either orientation when it’s affixed to the tablet’s back.
The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra now boasts an 8,400mAh battery, which is an increase from the 8,000mAh capacity found in the Galaxy Tab S8.
In our battery test, the Tab S8 exhibited an impressive endurance of 12 hours and 52 minutes. The enhanced processor and OLED panel in the new tablet might influence its longevity on a single charge. However, there’s a chance that this tablet’s improved battery could counterbalance any potential impact.
The inclusion of an OLED display and a swifter chipset in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is certainly a welcomed advancement from its predecessors. These enhancements lend it a more premium feel, all while being significantly more affordable than its larger counterparts.
Thanks to its robust construction, sleek design, and sharp, vibrant display, the Galaxy Tab S9 holds the potential to position itself among the finest tablets of 2023.