Samsung has taken the wraps off its new tablet, revealing the Galaxy Tab S6. The tablet represents a renewed assault on the premium tablet market with a Samsung packing features into a great looking device.
Physically, the Tab S6 is thin and light despite the big 10.5-inch screen. It’s just 5.7mm thick which makes it thinner than most other devices on the market, and weighs just 420 grams. Its body is constructed from a single piece of aluminium for strength (so the glass rear is a thing of the past), and there’s a uniform modest sized bezel surrounding the screen.
Around back, there’s a dual camera wide/ultra-wide array, and a divot into which the S Pen magnetically attaches for charging. Despite our qualms about this arrangement, the official cases feature a flap that opens to allow you to get at the S Pen without removing the entire case. Clever.
The S Pen has grown up, with a redesign (again) and it’s learned some new tricks, with customisable gesture control (“Air Actions” as Samsung’s calling it) offering the ability to trigger the tablet’s camera, move an on-screen cursor or control video playback. There’s a new software feature that lets you take notes in an overlay window while watching a video so you don’t need to stop watching to jot down your thoughts.
Powering the Tab S6 is a new 7nm processor that’s over 80% faster than the previous premium tablet (the Tab S4), paired with the type of gorgeous Super AMOLED display we’ve come to expect from Samsung, with an in-screen fingerprint scanner. The battery is an impressive 7,040 mAh with fast charging over USB C, but there’s no wireless charging to speak of.
Gamers will enjoy the enhanced performance of Unity- and Unreal-based games brought about by the new processing power. There’s also four speakers, all tuned by Samsung’s AKG group, on offer – and there’s Dolby Atmos support.
For those working on-the-go, you can add a keyboard cover for some extra versatility – it’s got a full size keyboard with trackpad. The keyboard doesn’t seem much different to the Tab S5e.
You can also run the DeX desktop environment – previously something that required add-on hardware – directly on the tablet now, instead of needing to output the interface over HDMI.
Theoretically this makes the tablet a little more like a PC, but it’s still an Android device at heart.
Samsung’s also drawing attention to the dual camera array on the rear of the tablet – it’s the first time an ultra-wide camera has been used in a tablet, but it’s a far cry from the multiple-camera proposition of the company’s flagship phone. There is a bit of a bump around the camera, but if the tablet’s in a case you won’t notice it. Tablets aren’t known for their camera prowess, so anything above and beyond “standard” will be welcome.
There’s two configurations on offer – 6GB RAM with 128GB storage (in Mountain Grey and Cloud Blue), and 8GB RAM with 256GB storage (only in Cloud Blue). Both models are also available in, wi-fi or LTE configurations.
Pricing for the WIFI models is $1,099 (6GB/128GB), $1,299 (8GB/256GB) and 4G LTE models are $1,299 (6GB/128GB) and $1,499 (8GB/256GB).
Pre-orders for the new tablet open later this month (August 27) and devices will land in customers’ hands on September 13. Customers pre-ordering will get a free upgrade to the 8GB/256 models, a $200 benefit that should be especially welcome for the power users out there.
It’s been a while since I’ve relied on a tablet for day-to-day tasks, but there’s still a segment of the market that looks forward to new high-spec tablets. I’m looking forward to taking the Tab S6 out for a spin.