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Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 First Impressions: Can it replace your PC?

Tablet yet or a PC? Here are my hands on impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.

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Samsung has launched the LTE version of its Android 2-in-1 convertible Galaxy Tab S4 in India. The touted productivity device with built-in Dex support is priced on the heavier side – Rs 57,900. It will be available through all major retail channels online and offline across India.

The tablet was first launched before the Galaxy Note 9 in August. The Galaxy Tab S4 paired with a Keyboard Book Cover accessory can work as a portable PC/laptop device. Customers will have to buy Keyboard Book Cover separately for Rs 7,499, which acts as a protective cover, and adds a physical QWERTY keyboard for easy typing. There is no trackpad in the Keyboard Cover, so you’ll have to rely on the S Pen, touchscreen or can add a Bluetooth mouse.

Samsung says that it is “portable like a tablet yet capable like a PC.” We will check Samsung’s claim in our full review, but here are my initial impressions of the device.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: What has changed

Externally, a lot has changed in the Galaxy Tab S4 when compared to the Galaxy Tab S3. The screen is now bigger at 10.5-inches compared to 9.7-inch display. Samsung has ditched its signature physical Home Key to increase screen size. The tab now has 32 percent more viewing space, and 79 percent screen-to-body ratio. Overall, the side bezels too have been reduced from 19.6mm to 10.9mm. I personally felt that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 looks a lot more cleaner from the front, but Samsung has still missed out on an even bigger display.

Internally too the Galaxy Tab S4 has seen some upgrades. It now includes built-in DeX, which we have seen on the Galaxy Note 9. Now there is no need for an external DeX dock. On specifications front, it is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 4GB of RAM. The storage option launched in India is 64GB variant with support for microSD card up to 256GB.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: DeX it for PC replacement and more

The new Galaxy Tab S4 also supports DeX without the need for a dock, Samsung has the functionality built-in this time around. What this means is that you can simply connect the tablet to your big screen (TV/Monitor/Projector) using an HDMI cable. Though Samsung is touting it to be a PC replacement as well, there are quite a few features that make this Android device much more than a 2-in-1.

The Galaxy Tab S4 is billed as an Apple iPad Pro competitor. Samsung says that the S Pen has Wacom tech for creators/artists, and when the tablet is connected to a big screen, it can be turned into a Wacom Pad. It supports touch input with S Pen, which has pressure levels of 4,096, and tip diameter of 0.7mm.

With DeX, the Galaxy Tab S4 gets in to a PC-like mode where all your apps will relaunch in resizable windows. You can then connect your Bluetooth mouse and keyboard for a full fledged PC experience. The tablet also supports two screen modes, which means the connected external display works as PC, and you can still mover around in tablet’s screen separately.

There are four speakers in total, two at the top and two at the bottom. The speakers are tuned by AKG and support Dolby Atmos for surround sound effect. Furthermore, Samsung also has a Pogo Charging Dock, on which you can place your tablet for charging, and it also doubles up as photo display device automatically showing images in a full-screen slideshow.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Big battery for a day

The Galaxy Tab S4 is backed by a 7,300mAh battery. It supports USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen 1) adaptive fast charging. Samsung claims that the tablet can deliver up to 16 hours of battery life on continuous video playback. We cannot verify Samsung’s claim as of now, but considering you get a big battery and the tablet can be easily charged via USB port in your car or through a powerbank, it definitely takes away a little concern of the battery running out on you while on move.

Final Thoughts

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, priced at Rs 57,900, is definitely for niche consumers who are looking for a secondary portable device that has a big battery, and can be charged on-the-go. Samsung has improved on the design, and built-in DeX support is a big positive for this tablet. Samsung also has Wacom support in the Galaxy Tab S4, so it should work well for creators/artists especially with the S Pen.

If you’re a business consumer, you could use Galaxy Tab S4 as a portable 2-in-1 device for emails, making presentations, video consumption and more on-the-go, although the device doesn’t yet seem to have the capability of replacing traditional laptop. Also, the Galaxy Tab S4 pricing is on a heavier side considering it’s an Android tablet. Having said that, Samsung is targeting the device as productivity tab, so we will reserve our verdict until our final review.

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  • Published Date: October 19, 2018 12:40 PM IST