If you’ve recently started working from home, you may have considered using a 2-in-1 or a tablet to get things done. Samsung’s take on the tablet as laptop is the Galaxy Tab S7, which costs $649.99. It has flagship-level technology, a fantastic S Pen stylus, and the option to connect to 5G for an additional $200. It’s a well-made Android tablet, but it’s no match for Apple’s $599 iPad Air when it comes to work and pleasure.
Design and Display
The Galaxy Tab S7 appears to be a larger version of the Galaxy Tab S6. An 11-inch display dominates the front, while the back and chassis are built of aluminum. The Wi-Fi and LTE variants come in black, bronze, or silver, whilst the 5G model comes just in black. A 12.4-inch Galaxy Tab S7+ variant is also available, beginning at $849.
The Tab S7 is light enough to use for hours, measuring 10.0 by 6.5 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and weighing just over a pound. A SIM card slot, a hybrid power button and fingerprint sensor, and volume rockers are all found on the top. The fingerprint sensor is a nice feature in theory, but it’s a pain to use in landscape mode because it won’t function unless you contort your finger in an unusual way.
The Galaxy Tab S7+ has an 11-inch 2,560-by-1,600-pixel LCD with a variable refresh rate of 120Hz on the front. The color accuracy is excellent, but the display lacks the same vibrant hues and inky, deep blacks as the Tab S7Super +’s AMOLED display. It’s bright enough to use outside in direct sunshine without issue.
Surprisingly good sound quality. The quad speakers have a maximum loudness of 92dB and utilize Dolby Atmos and AKG tuning. For a good media streaming experience, they give defined mids and even a little bass. However, there is no headphone jack, and our sealed review device lacked the USB-C headphones that were supposed to come with it.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chipset powers the Galaxy Tab S7+. 6GB RAM/128GB storage, 8GB RAM/256GB storage, and 8GB RAM/512GB storage are the three RAM/storage options available. With a microSD card, all three allow up to 1TB of additional external storage. The 6GB model was put to the test.
While the Tab S7 is capable, it is not without flaws. Things start to slow down when you have more than two dozen apps and as many Chrome tabs open. When playing Alto’s Odyssey, we observed some latency and skipped frames.
The benchmarks are comparable to those found on Snapdragon 865-powered phones such as the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The Tab S7 scored 970 single-core (SC) and 3,277 multi-core (MC) in Geekbench 5, a set of tests that assess raw computational capability. The iPad Pro, by comparison, received 1,113 SC and 4,606 MC on the same tests.
Samsung claims that the tablet’s 8,000mAh battery will last all day, but that was not our experience. The Galaxy Tab S7 lasted just 5 hours and 28 minutes in our battery drain test, which streams HD video over Wi-Fi at full brightness. We discovered that after around six hours of frequent use, we needed to plug it in. With an external adapter, it offers 45W rapid charging, and a 15W charging adapter is supplied in the box.
On the back, the Tab S7 has a 13MP primary lens and a 5MP ultra-wide sensor, while the front-facing camera is 8MP.
The Tab S7’s rear cameras can capture nice images in bright light, making them useful for document scanning and other rapid shots. For video calls, the front-facing camera is adequate.
Image quality drops across the board in low light. Significant noise and a loss of fine detail may be seen in our test shots. However, with a little light, the selfie cam may still be used for video conferencing.
Wi-Fi, LTE, and 5G versions of the tablet are available. It comes with Wi-Fi 6 capability by default, while the LTE model adds $100 to the price and works with all US carriers (plus the price of cellular service). The 5G variant costs $200 more than the standard model.
On a gigabit fiber internet connection, we tested the Tab S7 and saw excellent average speeds of 682Mbps down and 50Mbps up.
S Pen and Accessories
The S Pen that Samsung includes is small yet powerful. It has a gentler tip than the Apple Pencil, and writing with it feels more natural. The stylus has a button that allows you to do gestures that control various tablet operations, however it isn’t especially intuitive.
You’ll need an accessory like Samsung’s $199 Book Cover Keyboard if you want to use the Galaxy Tab S7 as a full-fledged laptop replacement. Unfortunately, palm rejection on the track pad is rarely effective, and key travel is limited, so you’ll want to look for a better third-party option.
The Galaxy Tab S7 comes preloaded with Android 10 with Samsung’s One UI 2.5, which mostly enhances the Android experience. Samsung’s Notes app syncs handwriting with recorded voice, and many of its productivity apps now interface with Office 365 via Wireless DeX. On the Tab S7, you can also answer calls and respond to texts from your Samsung smartphone.
You’re right if you think this sounds like Apple’s environment, only One UI isn’t nearly as intuitive, and its user support is lacking. Simply sign in with your Apple ID, and all of your Apple devices will sync. If you’re stuck, you can easily get an answer on Apple’s website or through the company’s customer service channels.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 boasts a great display, powerful speakers, a quick processor, and 5G connectivity as an option. However, Samsung is marketing this as a business tablet, and it simply isn’t up to the task in the same way that Apple’s iPad Air is. The iPad Air has a longer battery life, a better keyboard accessory, better multitasking capabilities, and better user support for $50 less. If you want a larger screen, the iPad Pro range is a good option, but the iPad Air is hard to beat for the price.