In Oct 2010 I was fortunate enough to get one of the first Galaxy Tabs in Europe. The review video (and live review video) was done quickly and has since amassed over 280000 views. Today I posted a video overview of the Galaxy Tab S2 (8.0 and 9.7-inch) and it’s incredible to see how much has changed. We are talking good productivity levels, fast ‘real’ web and high-end connectivity that beats most of the Windows tables out there. The LTE 32GB version launched for €500 in Europe but is already below €450 now. That sounds like a lot but I paid 799 Euros for the first 3G Galaxy Tab! It was worth it then because it was one of the first ‘mobile internet’ tablets that really worked for me but having tested the Galaxy Tab S2 I’m sure that I would get €450 of value out of it. Here’s a summary of why I think it’s one of the best options out there for most people. My video review for Notebookcheck is embedded below.
When I fired-up Powerpoint Mobile, connected a Bluetooth keyboard and worked on my OneDrive files and casted to a Miracast screen without any problem I confirmed to myself that if Windows migrates to a point where only Windows Universal Apps work well on mobile devices then there isn’t much difference between a Windows tablet and an Android tablet, at least for those users that aren’t interested in the desktop, multiple screens, USB device support and other advanced Windows features.
The Galaxy Tab S2 8.0-inch is highly mobile and has a great screen with high-quality brightness, color coverage, contrast and resolution. There’s a fingerprint reader which, like on the iPad and some new phones, enables quick and secure access. Full file-system encryption is available (yes, many Windows tablets offer Bitlocker when used with a Microsoft account) and there’s AC WiFi, fast LTE and a good speaker. 13 hours of video playback life…in just 272 grams. I’m testing the HP Pro Tablet G2 with a similar screen and connectivity specification and it’s bigger, has less battery life and is more expensive than the Galaxy Tab S2. In fact, if you want a high-end consumer-focused Windows tablet you’ll be hard-pressed to find one as they’re all targeted at ‘pro’ users with the corresponding ‘pro’ pricing.
And then there’s the apps. No more comment needed there. Windows 10 and Universal Apps have just arrived but it could be a year or two before developers add Windows to their ‘first class citizen’ list.
Why can’t Windows tablets have a camera as good as the one on the Galaxy Tab S2? It’s not high-end smartphone quality but it’s quick and really, really fast. 2K video recording? You’re covered.
My colleague over at Notebookcheck, Andreas Kilian, reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.0 and the final score was a very good 89%. The iPad Mini 4 scored 90% but I’d argue that score is only valid if you want to work in the Apple ecosystem (where a simple PC-to-USB file transfer is blocked!) The iPad Mini 4 will cost you more too.
The full review by Notebookcheck is here (Galaxy Tab S2 8.0-inch) and here (Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch) and my video is below. I encourage you to subscribe to the Notebookcheck YouTube channel because I’m getting 3-4 devices per week on the video bench and, honestly, the Notebookcheck review process is second to none. The Acer Aspire Switch 11V and Lenovo Thinkpad 10 should be with me within the next 14 days.
Oh, by the way, the new Galaxy Tab S2 has a CPU that’s 7X more powerful on a single core than the original, and this one has 8x more CPU cores!
What are your thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 series?