Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and A 10.5 – Both tablet series will receive an update

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Tablets are not exactly popular in 2018, but that does not mean that there is no longer a need for them. According to Samsung, the demand for tablets has decreased, but has stabilized in recent years. Many manufacturers have stopped making Android tablets in recent years, but not manufacturers such as Huawei and Samsung. Furthermore, Microsoft is still present with the Windows tablets in the Surface line and Apple is still doing well with its various iPads. Samsung has had a high-end S-series and a cheaper A-series tablets for a long time, and both are getting an upgrade.

We start with an overview of the specifications of the new tablets and their predecessors.

Tablet Tab S4 Tab S3 Tab A 10.5 Tab A 10.1
Year 2018 2017 2018 2016
Screen size 10.5″ 9.7″ 10.5″ 10.1″
Height (mm) 164.3 169 161.1 155.3
Width (mm) 249.3 237.3 260 254.2
Depth (mm) 7.1 6 8 8.2
Weight 482g 429g 529g 525g
Screen resolution 2560×1600 2048×1536 1920×1200 1920×1200
Screen technology Oled Oled lcd lcd
Battery capacity (mAh) 7300 6000 7300 7300

Galaxy Tab S4

Samsung’s latest high-end tablet has become slightly thicker. We found the previous one to be just too fragile and this one seems to feel a bit more solid, although we haven’t held them side by side yet and the back is still glass. Another advantage of this is probably the battery capacity, which at 7300mAh is somewhat higher than the 6000mAh of the Tab S3. However, the screen is also somewhat larger and most likely consumes more energy. In addition to being thicker, it has also become somewhat heavier. You could say that it is slightly less pleasant to take with you, but together with the new Tab S4 Book Cover Keyboard of 364 grams it is still lighter than a laptop. This Cover Keyboard will cost 150 euros, but you get it for free with the Tab S4 if you pre-order it from August 1.

The screen of the Tab S4 has an aspect ratio of 16:10, where the Tab S3 was still 4:3. The new tablet is therefore somewhat wider and slightly less high. The bezels are somewhat smaller, so that the relative screen size is now about 79 percent. Of course it is an OLED screen again and that is what the Tab S4, like the Tab S3, has as an advantage over an iPad Pro, for example. The screen is therefore richer in contrast and very suitable for watching movies, for example with HDR, because the tablet still has support for this.

The tablet is therefore aimed at entertainment, such as movies, but also games. That’s why Samsung has built four speakers into the tablet, of which the upper treble and the lower bass can be heard no matter how you hold the tablet. We listened to a video with Dolby Atmos at full volume and that sounds nice and spacious for a tablet. The bass tones are not as good as an iPad Pro in our opinion, but that is only a first impression.

The support for DeX is also new. This was first only for smartphones. Now you can use the tablet in DeX mode as if it were a PC, where you can multitask, maximize windows and, for example, drag and drop files from one app to another. We just haven’t been able to take a closer look at that yet. You can easily connect the Tab S4 to another screen via HDMI.

Another potential productivity-enhancing element is the S Pen. This comes standard with the Tab S4 and looks more like a real pen. It is rounder and thicker, and therefore easier to hold than the S Pen that comes with the Tab S3. You can now also send Live Messages with it. That’s a feature that was introduced with the Note 8, where you can draw something and the other person sees exactly how it was drawn. You can also translate, take notes when the screen is off, write on screenshots or cut out parts of the screen.

What you might miss on the Tab S4 is the fingerprint scanner. It has been replaced by an infrared scanner to scan your irises. That should also be possible with glasses, but we were not able to test that. The question of whether you wear glasses is also included in the tutorial. In any case, the scanner worked nice and fast in our short preview session.

The specifications of the Tab S4 are not very special, but they are high-end. Samsung has built in an old high-end soc again, namely the Snapdragon 835. That is quite disappointing for a tablet of 700 euros. Furthermore, there is standard 64GB storage memory and 4GB RAM in the Tab S4, it has support for fast charging and it runs on Android 8.1. The Tab S4 will be released on August 24. The WiFi version costs 699 euros and the LTE version costs 759 euros

Tab A 10.5

The Tab A 10.5 is a different story. It costs a lot less with a minimum suggested retail price of 329 euros, but it also has a lot less good specifications. For example, it has a USB-C port with 2.0 specification and the Bluetooth version is 4.2. It has a Snapdragon 450, which runs at a maximum of 1.8GHz. Still, it ran fairly smoothly in our trials and can be an interesting tablet, especially if you don’t use it every day or if you have tablet-loving kids around. After all, the tablet is less fragile than the glass Tab S4 and has a pleasant-to-the-touch plastic back. There is also a Kids Mode on the tablet, just like on the previous Tab A.

Furthermore, just like the Tab S4, the tablet is equipped with four speakers and Dolby Atmos technology, which serves the entertainment purpose of the Tab A 10.5. Unfortunately, it does not have an OLED screen, but an LCD. This does not look bad, but it is a lot less beautiful than the screen of the Tab S4.

Both the screen and the housing of the Tab A 10.5 are slightly larger than those of the Tab A 10.1, while the weight has remained almost the same and the battery capacity has also remained unchanged. Of course the specifications have been updated, but not much has changed. There is a smart connector on the tablet, with which you can put it in a Book Cover or Charging Dock. No keyboard has been announced for the Tab A 10.5. The price of the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is 329 euros.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and the Galaxy Tab A 10.5 are welcome, if only because there aren’t that many tablet makers left. Still, we’re not blown away by these new tablets. The specifications have been updated, but they don’t really stand out from their predecessors. That is why it remains interesting to look at those predecessors, especially in the case of the Tab S3, because it is currently fast enough for many applications for the time being. If you really want the latest of the latest, you can of course go for the Tab S4, but then you have to dig deep into your pockets and you still have a soc from last year. That makes us fear for the sales figures of this tablet. The cheaper Tab A 10.5 is more interesting from a price point of view, although the specifications are also accordingly. We hope that the Tab S4 in particular will drop in price, or perhaps its predecessor, making it a good buy. A beautiful OLED screen in a tablet alone is certainly worth something.

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