How does it perform?
The Qualcomm 820 is a flagship class processor and has plenty of power for a content consumption device. 32GB storage is not a lot and after you download maps, music and a few apps you can find yourself left with less than 10GB. The 256GB capable microSD slot is necessary.
Wi-Fi performance is 780Mbps rock solid at 20 metres of the test bed (867Mbps theoretical maximum).
Samsung claim 12 hours in a video loop test and I was able to replicate that. Wi-Fi streaming HD video at 75% brightness gave over eight hours.
In typical use expect to use about 10% battery per hour. Recharge time was quick – fast charge gave 23% in 30 minutes and a full charge in 55 minutes.
• Best tablet screen ever and HDR10 ready
• Great battery life
• Great build
• Amazing four speaker sound for a small device
• Silky smooth fountain style S Pen and screen-off notes
• Screen cast is excellent for TVs
• LTE can be used as a phone too
• GPS makes it a great travel companion
• Perfect companion for a Galaxy smartphone – Samsung Flow
• Uses Google Voice
• Knox adds private folders and device has been certified by the US government (and many others) as safe for classified use Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) list
• The screen is a fingerprint magnet.
• Cover/keyboard is adequate but lacks trackpad – it is not a mandatory buy however without it, there is no stand and no S Pen holder.
• No notification LED.
• Android is not a good desktop system e.g. multitasking, and many apps only work in portrait mode.
Who is it for?
Someone who simply wants the best Android tablet and does not care what it costs. Use it as a couch companion to do quick searches and to cast audio and video content. Use it as an ultralight travel companion as a connection to the world – email, maps, GPS, the internet, research and more.
There can only be one number one and this is that by a huge margin. It does everything right.
It has the all-important S Pen and it does it very well – there is scope for Samsung to do more with the S Pen enabled apps too.
It is not a Surface clone – it is an Android tablet and while it has Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype and OneDrive it is not meant to be a laptop replacement.
And then that brings up the rise of larger Windows 10 hybrids – Surface-like – where content consumption and production can occur on them so it is not a big stretch to understand why slates are on the decline.
• Overall: 4.3 out of 5
• Features: 5 out of 5 – fully featured plus LTE if you need it
• Value for money: 3 out of 5 – sorry the optional keyboard is eye-watering expensive
• Performance: 4 out of 5 – no issues but last year’s flagship processor
• Ease of Use: 5 out of 5 – Android is institutive and simple
• Design: 4.5 out 5 – nice and thin but not “sexy as it’s a glass slab
Wi-Fi and 4G $1099