Saturday, December 4, 2021

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review: The Best Tablet In Terms Of Hardware Alone

If you’re looking for a tablet that can also turn into a portable laptop with a few additions, the most common suggestion would be the iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface. Being a big name brand, Samsung is going all out in getting a piece of this market with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+.

This 12.4 inch tablet comes packed with all the bells and whistles to make it a competent and powerful tablet that can also be used as a laptop; perfect for work and play. But will all the powerful hardware be enough to make this android tablet a working one?

Design and Display

The first thing you will notice about the Galaxy Tab S7+ is that the 12.4 inches actually makes the tablet really big, and is pretty hefty too at 575g. While it isn’t as hard to carry as it seems, it’s still pretty big that you may find it troublesome to carry around easily. I needed to use my regular big laptop bag to carry this one around with ease.

But there’s a reason for this size; the display is an OLED panel where everything looks undoubtedly amazing. Colours are vibrant and bright, and the black is the real deep black. Top that with a 120Hz screen and everything is fluid and beautiful. It’s a gorgeous screen that is worthy of all the praise.

Compared to the normal Galaxy Tab S7, you don’t get a physical fingerprint scanner but an under-display fingerprint scanner instead. It functions well whether you use it horizontal or vertical, and even with its big size you can reach it well but I don’t find it comfortable either way so stick to unlocking via face recognition if possible.

On the back of the tablet, you’ll find the camera module and a dedicated magnetic strip for the S Pen stylus. While the stylus sticks on the back well enough, for better security its best to have the keyboard accessory as it has a protective flap to keep the S pen.

Hardware and Performance

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

Samsung went all out with fitting the Galaxy Tab S7+ with the best hardware there is in the market. It has a Snapdragon 865+ chipset, with 8GB RAM and 256GB ROM all ready and packed in so when it came to hardware performance, it’s definitely one of the best.

Which is why performance wise, the tablet performs well. Programs run and load fast, and the writing experience on the tablet using the stylus is as wonderful as it was on the Note20 which we recently reviewed.

But all these hardware highs is thwarted by its software lows which mainly comes for Samsung’s DeX programme which you will need to switch to go from tablet to laptop mode. Sure, switching between the two is pretty easy, but in laptop mode using DeX, be prepared to encounter a number of errors as not a lot of apps are optimised for Dex. For example, starting up Netflix in DeX mode forced me to restart the app a couple of times, and you need to set it up so that you can resize the app accordingly.

No doubt apps that are optimised for DeX work wonderfully well, but if you need to utilise an app that isn’t from Samsung or isn’t considered optimised for DeX then you will be facing plenty of issues. This is definitely a major problem for those thinking of converting from the iPad, Microsoft, or even Chromebooks, as this lack of smooth transfer between tablet and laptop mode comes off more as a deterrent.

It’s really too bad on this as hardware performance wise, this device is truly worth looking into. With a gorgeous OLED screen and powerful hardware, the device definitely has what it takes. But Samsung will need to make their DeX programme a lot smoother for more people to easily adapt to their device.

Accessories and Battery

To really complete the Galaxy Tab S7+ into a portable laptop, you will need the keyboard accessory and I cannot recommend it enough. The keyboard accessory not only protects the device should you carry it around, it also keeps the S Pen stylus safely on the back as mentioned earlier.

The keyboard works great and comes with a much needed trackpad should you prefer to use that as you work. And as mentioned earlier, using the stylus to write on the tablet is a great experience and even has the same haptic feedback of writing on a paper like the Note20.

The only problem I see with the keyboard is having to fork out another RM999 to have it, but it’s worth getting it if you intend to get this tablet.

In terms of battery, you do get a massive 10,090mAh which you would think would last more than a few days. But under heavy usage, the battery drains way too fast and I ended up having a close to dead tablet by the next day. It does come with a 18W fast charger packed in with the device, but if you intend to use it daily I recommend charging it overnight if you want to use it throughout the next day without having it plugged in. It also lacks reverse charging so you can’t use it to charge any other devices despite its massive size.

Conclusion

Samsung’s foray into the tablet-turned-laptop market is definitely commendable and it can be seen with the Galaxy Tab S7+, which comes packed with really impressive hardware. What brings it down is mainly its software which is focused more on Samsung’s apps than those outside of Samsung’s ecosystem. This seems to be a common problem with Samsung and all of their devices, where time and again their hardware is one of the best in the market but software wise it has a few problems that will make those who are contemplating to convert from their current tablet a challenge.

Even with that said, I cannot deny that the Galaxy Tablet S7+ is a sight to behold and a pleasure to use and as such I will give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Impressive in terms of hardware, but some level of adapting to a Samsung software makes it challenging to use.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ in Malaysia comes with WiFi only for now and is priced at RM4599.

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