The Galaxy Tab S3 is Samsung's response to Apple's iPad Pro. The Tab S3 is one of the best Android tablets ever with a gorgeous screen and top-tier specs. Headlined by an HDR-ready screen, four powerful speakers and an upgraded S Pen that's included in the box, the Tab S3 is making a powerful argument that you might not need your laptop any longer. With a price tag on par with most average laptops, can its unique functionality really sway you away from a laptop?
To answer that question, we're going to take a look at some of the key features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.
Holding the Galaxy Tab S3 in your hand for the first time, you might be thinking, "Gee, this looks awfully like an iPad." In a certain way, you're right. The swooping curved edge design and all glass body are familiar to Apple's side of the street. Despite that, the Tab S3 is an attractive little tablet that looks and feels great. The Gorilla Glass is durable and shatter-resistant, although you have to compromise that you will be getting fingerprints and smudges all over it. It's heftier compared to an iPad, nearing a pound (oh no!) but is still quite light compared to other Android tablets. The larger battery makes up for the heavier and thicker build, in my opinion.
You'll find the usual gang of buttons on the front and sides of the tablet. The volume rocker and sleep button are textured so you can find them with your thumb even in darkness. The headphone jack and USB-C port sit at the bottom. Like the iPad Pro, four speakers are dotted around the tablet and they have some software trickery that angles the sound depending on how you're holding the device.
The tablet packs the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as the Tab S2, but it's now HDR-enabled when you're watching supported content either through Netflix or Amazon Prime. HDR (high dynamic range) gives much greater peak brightness, with blacks appearing deeper and more natural as a result. Samsung uses AMOLED screen technology, compared to Apple's IPS LCD panels, which really give it a leg up. The Galaxy Tab S3 has noticeably richer colors, darker blacks, and a more immersive screen.
The S-Pen stylus makes good use of the screen's real estate. Samsung Galaxy Note fans will be right at home with the tablet's pen as it scribbles, draws, and taps its way into your life. It makes writing and note taking a breeze, and painting with it (although I suck at it) is fun. The S-Pen comes bundled with the Tab S3, unlike the Apple Pen which can be an expensive add-on.
There's not much to talk about regarding the Tab S3's software. Running the latest Android OS from the Galaxy line of smartphones, there's a lot of the same going on. It's a shame, however, that a lot of the apps on the Google Play Store don't make good use of a tablet's larger size. Similarly, with icons, things just look blown up and stretched just a tad, making me feel that the original lines of code weren't developed to fit the size and resolution of a larger screen.
The camera on the back of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is pretty terrible, but then I wouldn't expect much else from a tablet snapper. Considering it's got a 13-megapixel sensor, a lens with an f/1.9 aperture, and a flash, it's actually somewhat surprising pictures lack detail and depth.