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Recently, Samsung announced a raft of new tablet devices, as many had been predicting they would. Though they’re rather uncreatively named, the Tab S8 lineup looks to consolidate Samsung’s dominance in the Android tablet space. The new devices are aimed at providing a premium tablet experience for those who don’t want to buy into the Apple walled garden and get an iPad (which, incidentally, you should never do in February). Let’s take a look at the specs, price, features, and other aspects of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 lineup, and which one you should buy if you’re in the market for an Android tablet device.
Galaxy Tab S8
First, let’s take a look at the basic model in the Tab S8 range. The smallest and least expensive of the three devices, the Tab S8 is effectively the “entry-level” device for this range, although you won’t be paying entry-level prices for it. Here’s a rundown of the Galaxy Tab S8 in all its glory. A quick note: all of these tablets can either be purchased as Wi-Fi or 5G-compatible models.
The Galaxy Tab S8 is rocking an 11-inch display with a 2560×1600 resolution, which is going to look pretty beautiful when you’re playing games or watching videos on it. The panel isn’t OLED, which feels like a bit of a missed opportunity for us, but it is a pretty high-quality LCD panel. You’ll have to fork out for the more expensive Tab S8+ or S8 Ultra for an OLED panel.
Elsewhere, the tablet has either 128GB or 256GB of storage, as well as 8GB of RAM. Cameras aren’t much to write home about; a 13MP and 6MP dual rear camera and a 12MP front camera. You’re almost certainly not buying a tablet for the camera quality, though. An 8000mAh battery rounds off this device, which should last you most of the day even through fairly heavy usage.
As the basic model, the Galaxy Tab S8 is also the cheapest tablet you can get in this range. You can expect to pay £649 for the basic model, and that price will increase to £699 if you go for the 256GB model. 5G functionality adds a further £150 onto both prices.
The Tab S8 weighs just 1.1 pounds and is 254x165x6.3mm in size. It’s a good option if you don’t want a hefty device on your lap while you’re gaming or watching content and you need something that’s a little more portable.
As you’d expect, the Galaxy Tab S8 has largely the same features as its siblings. It has Bluetooth, so you can connect peripherals, and rather unusually, it has a microSD card slot for expandable storage as well. You’ll also find the Android 12 operating system installed on it, and the One UI overlay that’s standard on all Samsung devices. The tablet also has support for the Samsung S Pen with a latency of 6.2 milliseconds, which is pretty darn impressive.
Galaxy Tab S8+
The second device we’re looking at today is the Galaxy Tab S8+, or S8 Plus. As you might imagine, this is a slightly larger version of the S8 with an improved display, but for the most part, its specs are the same. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect if you decide to buy the Galaxy Tab S8+.
The big draw for the S8+ is its screen. You’re getting a 12.4-inch screen (compared to the S8’s 11-inch screen) with a resolution of 2800×1752. The screen on the S8+ is OLED, which stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode; it essentially means that every pixel is backlit, leading to a much sharper and more heavily contrasted image. You’ll notice better colour reproduction and brighter displays on OLED devices, by and large.
Since the Galaxy Tab S8+ has a better set of specs and a better screen, it’s going to set you back a little more money. This one will cost you £849 for the base 128GB model, which comes with 8GB of RAM. There’s also a 256GB model that adds £50 onto the price, bringing it to £899. This is a premium tablet for power users, though, so you probably shouldn’t consider it unless you really need that better screen. As before, 5G adds £150 onto these options.
That “plus” in the name doesn’t come from nowhere. The Galaxy Tab S8+ is a larger device than the Tab S8; it’s 285 millimetres wide, 185mm tall, and just 5.7mm deep. It’s still a sleek device as tablets go, but you’re going to notice increased heft if you decide to get this one.
The Tab S8+ comes with all the same features as the Tab S8, including a microSD card slot and the same exact set of cameras. Of course, it’s also compatible with the S Pen, and for our money, you’re going to get more out of this one if you’re an avid S Pen user than you would from the base model.
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
Samsung is pushing the Tab S8 Ultra as a sort of maximalist tablet device for power users, and it definitely comes across that way. It’s a beast of a device, and although it has the same internals as its brethren, it’s still distinct in a number of ways.
Internally, the S8 Ultra is the same device as the other two tablets; it’s running the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, so you’ll get similar performance. However, you can expand the storage to 512GB and add a further 8GB of RAM if you like, bringing the total to a rather fearsome 16GB. In addition, there’s a second sensor on the front camera, another 12MP lens to sharpen up your selfies.
You’re going to be paying premium dollar for the Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra tablet. If you opt for the base model, it’ll cost you £999, and upgrading to the 256GB model (which does come with a further 4GB of RAM as well) will set you back £1099. Finally, the 512GB and 16GB RAM model costs an eye-watering £1249. As usual, you’ll pay an extra £150 if you want the 5G version of the tablet.
As you’d expect, the Tab S8 Ultra is a monstrous device indeed. It’s got a width of 326mm and a height of 208mm, so this isn’t a device you’re going to be able to carry with you around the house. It’s a little heftier, too, weighing in at around 730g for either the Wi-Fi or the 5G version.
If you buy the Tab S8 Ultra, you’ll get all of the same features as with the other two models; you’re essentially paying for the extra screen real estate here, as well as the heftier battery which powers that screen (it’s an 11,200mAh battery as opposed to the 8000mAh one found in the other tablets).