Our phones may be approaching the screen size of mini tablets, but that doesn’t mean the market for tablets is dead. Apple’s iPad Pro might be the most desired premium tablet, but not everyone can afford it. In fact, as recent data from Cyber Media Research (CMR) shows, Samsung is number two in the Indian tablet market, ahead of Apple.
The latest offering from the company in the premium tablet segment is the Galaxy Tab S6, which has all the features you would expect in a device priced at Rs 59,990. It also comes bundled with the S Pen. But does the Tab S6 have what it takes to compete against the premium iPad Pro series? Here’s our review of the Galaxy Tab S6.
Samsung Tab S6 Specifications: 10.5-inch AMOLED screen | Snapdragon 855 processor | 8 GB of RAM | 128GB ROM | dual rear cameras | 8MP front camera | 7,040 mAh battery | Android 9 | S Pen
Samsung Tab Price in India: Rs 59,900 for the LTE variant
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: design, display
The Galaxy Tab S6 comes with a 10.5-inch AMOLED screen and it still has relatively thicker bezels on the side. Samsung’s AMOLED display is excellent, and the company is not a rookie when it comes to screen quality.
This is also an HDR 10 certified display, which makes it a good display to rely on for video consumption. The blacks are deep and the overall colors are striking. From an entertainment perspective, this is an excellent tablet. It also has four speakers, and the overall audio quality is excellent. The blue-colored review unit we got looks minimal and sleek, which is what I prefer on tablets, although Samsung also offers a black-colored option for those who prefer.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: Performance, S Pen
The Galaxy Tab S6 also packs the best specs an Android tablet can offer. This is certainly more powerful than the Tab S5e, which I had previously reviewed and which comes with a 670 mid-range processor.
The premium Tab S6 tablet has a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage. The high-end processor means that the performance on the tablet is smooth and you can easily go about your daily tasks. For me, the main use case for tablets is reading PDF files, watching videos, and browsing the web. Of course, gaming isn’t a problem given the specs, but I find tablets a bit bulky to play.
Samsung also has DeX mode on this tablet for those who want a more desktop-like experience, which works well. My only problem with the tablet at times was that when I wanted to switch from the physical keyboard to the on-screen touch keyboard, the experience was not easy. I often found that I had to physically remove the keyboard cover to display the on-screen keyboard. On a tablet, these things should be more intuitive. More than overall performance, I’d say Samsung’s software still needs to be more fluid for its tablets.
Samsung also packed the tablet with the S Pen inside the box. The back of the tablet has a dedicated S Pen shaped slot and it magnetically connects and connects with the tablet via Bluetooth. Once connected, the S Pen charges automatically. The cover that Samsung has created for the Tab S6 also takes into account the S Pen.
This is a useful addition. Unlike the iPad or Surface series, you won’t have to pay more to get the S Pen. The S Pen works beautifully on the screen, managing to capture the exact pressure you are applying when writing with it. Aerial gestures work well too, although I think after a moment the excitement around them will subside.
The S6 with the S Pen is certainly a valuable option for those who are into art, calligraphy, etc. and they don’t want to spend a lot of money on their tablet and pen.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: the accessories
My biggest problem with the Tab S6 would be the cover that Samsung has provided. Samsung recommends that once connected, you do not remove the cover – the top is glued to the tablet. The bracket is never really reliable and many times the cover came off.
If I were to compare this to the Tab S5e, which I used recently, this cover is a deal breaker. You end up compromising the stability of the tablet, and you are never sure to use this as a substitute for the laptop. Many times the tablet almost slipped while in use, which really made me more cautious. I would recommend getting an alternative cover if it exists.
The keyboard cover isn’t bad, and typing on it will take some getting used to, although the trackpad isn’t really comfortable to navigate. I never really felt comfortable typing in this case. Again, I would blame the back cover for not providing the necessary stability. Accessories can really make or break a tablet, and in this case, they don’t add much to the Tab S6.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: camera, battery, etc.
The Tab S6 has dual cameras on the back and an 8MP front camera. I’m not one of those who likes to take photos with a tablet. Camera results are fine, but I certainly don’t have the marquee feature of a tablet.
Our Galaxy Tab S6 review unit comes with a SIM slot and a microSD slot as well. Samsung hasn’t listed a price for the WiFi-only variant in India. The tablet has a 7,040 mAh battery, which should easily last a whole day depending on usage. Samsung promises around 15 hours of battery life on charge.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 verdict
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a solid case for itself when it comes to performance and as an entertainment device. It will also appeal to those who need a stylus for their tablets, given that Samsung has generally performed well in this area. It is also more affordable than the iPad Pro series and Surface Pro devices in the Indian market, where even accessories cost much more.
But what you definitely need is better Samsung software, especially to switch modes. The big craze here is in the unreliable lid, which spoiled my experience. The Samsung tab is hands down the most premium Android tablet one can buy. However, standing out against the big rivals will not be easy for this one.