+ Monday November 18th, 2019

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.

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Jason Murray

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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hihiuiu
Guest
hihiuiu

Samsung are a funny bunch , Back when they release the first Samsung Galaxy Book is came with a back lit keyboard, why is it so hard to add light to the keys ? i can’t see in the dark Samsung ??

darren
Guest
darren

ok so where do I preorder the S6?

Justin
Guest
Justin

Do Samsung use snapdragon processors in their flagship tablets? Or is it a similar to their flagship phones?

Luke Roberts
Ausdroid Reader

Mixture of Snapdragon & Exynos… though generally a specific Tablet model will be one or the other…( same model phone – especially flagship – will have SD for one market and Exynons for others )

This tablet seems to be exclusively SD855

Username001
Guest
Username001

Will ausdroid be doing a hands-on review of the Tab S6?

Malhar
Guest
Malhar

Finally. I have been waiting for a good tablet! I can’t find information on pre-order anywhere though on the Samsung website.
Also any idea on how much the keyboard cover would cost?

Lucas Ralston
Guest
Lucas Ralston

As an owner of both the Galaxy TAB A 2018 and TAB S4, I’m really interested in the TAB S6 for me and family. But I don’t need an 80% faster processor or thinner tablet. The price is as expected (way out of my budget) but of course the price will drop over the next year or so. I do like that they’ve made an all aluminium body instead of glass back. I did buy the TAB S4 keyboard+case but never used it so I sold it, I never use the S Pen as I never feel like it is… Read more »

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

If you want another Tab A 10.5 LTE for anyone in your family, Telstra has them on clearance. Think you need to go on a plan and cancel it but it would basically cost $195 which is $180 device payments + one month $15 plan.

Samsung Tablets generally don’t drop until they’re on clearance unless you get from overseas so the Tab S6 probably will remain quite high for a year or two.

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

As usual, the hardware will be great. The magnetic pen holder is a big improvement over the Tab S4 (ugh!!!!). For tablets, better cameras should go on the screen side for video calls No wireless charging and (if it has pogo pins) you probably won’t be able to use a Samsung folding or keyboard cover with the charging dock. The Tab S4 is gimped like this and it’s highly annoying. The ownership experience will be extremely annoying if you want timely updates. Samsung does not prioritise updates for tablets globally and Australian users get to wait even looooonger before Samsung… Read more »

Tango India Mike
Guest
Tango India Mike

Agree with this. Sold the S4 because I wanted the Android 9 update and so purchased an S5e…but the dock for this tablet (which is different to the dock for the S4) hasn’t been brought into Australia.

Wanted a lightweight tablet with DEX and running Android 9 that I can use a dock and a Bluetooth keyboard with….Samsung are all over the place with their tablets with gaps in the solution at different places depending on which model you buy.

Needs more consistency

Tibb So
Ausdroid Reader
Tibb So

“previously something that required add-on hardware” The Tab S4 doesn’t need add on hardware for Dex to work

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