The last Samsung tablet we got our hands on was the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, which we found to be of a rather nice and portable size for a productivity-driven tablet.
Now we’ve got the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with us, and if I had to describe it in one saying, it’d be “go big or go home”.
With a 14.6-inch screen, the tablet’s display even dwarfs that of my usual work laptop.
The very first thing I noticed when I collected it was the sheer weight of it in its box.
The tablet itself weighs almost 730g, but it also comes with a book cover keyboard, adding more weight to the overall device that cuts down on its portability points slightly. Still, it’s lighter than your average laptop.
To no surprise, it boasts a premium look
It comes in only one colour: black (or graphite, if you want to be fancy with it). There’s a nice matte finish that feels premium, but be warned that it easily attracts fingerprints.
The S Pen that comes with is housed on a magnetic strip on the tablet’s back that ends with the dual camera housing, giving it a streamlined look.
Just based on initial testing, the pictures produced both by the dual cameras and selfie camera were pretty nice and crisp for a tablet. In fact, they’re probably better than a lot of built-in laptop cameras.
Despite its heftier weight, the tablet gets plus points for being so slim. Its width measures about 5.5mm and is likely thinner than even most smartphones on the market.
Turn on the screen and you’re greeted with a Super AMOLED, HDR10+ display with a 1,848 x 2,960 pixel resolution. Translate those numbers into English and it basically means that what you see is crisp.
You can opt for a 120Hz (non-adaptive) setting and get great responsiveness for games and shows at the expense of battery life, or opt for the 60Hz setting.
It’s a beautiful display, so anything that you watch or play on it looks pretty gorgeous too. If you’ve been reading my tech reviews for a while now, you’d know my favourite game is Genshin Impact, so of course I had to christen the Tab S8 Ultra with some playtime.
Packing some power
The Tab S8 Ultra has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and I witnessed its power for myself when playing Genshin Impact for about 2-3 hours on overclocked settings (boosted graphics at 60FPS).
There were admittedly a few stutters here and there, but what was most surprising to me was that the tablet literally did not heat up.
I was actually expecting it to begin burning up perhaps an hour in, because that was my experience with even high-end Samsung smartphones, but the tablet merely remained lukewarm to the touch.
If it wasn’t for the size of this device, playing a mobile RPG that requires button-mashing would be pretty comfortable.
3 hours of gaming brought its 11,200mAh battery down from about 90% to 30%, but I’m not really sure what a good benchmark for battery power on a tablet is. This is alright when I’m at home, but if I’m out and about, I’d have to be more careful about battery management.
Thanks to 4 stereo speakers, it produces audio that is loud and clear. For the best experience though, earbuds are still recommended.
The included S Pen is smooth and responsive as well, though I’ve yet to fully test its capabilities. The book cover keyboard is pretty par for the course, and I’ve never had much issue with previous models on older tabs.
It enables you to utilise DeX for a more laptop-like experience, but I don’t foresee typing on the very flat keyboard for an entire day being the most comfortable situation.
For now, my first impressions deem that it’s a powerful, heavy, and large tablet, but just what can it do that’s so different from its predecessor tablet models? Hopefully, I’ll be able to answer this in my full review coming soon.
- Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra here.
- Read more tech reviews here.