The Galaxy Tab S8 has renewed my religion in Android tablets

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Three weeks in the past, I shut down my trusty Microsoft Floor 2-in-1 to embark on a daring experiment – utilizing an Android pill as my major computing machine. Extra particularly, I imply utilizing the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 as my sole work machine. It would sound outlandish, however to my shock, I got here out with a principally constructive expertise.
Sure, there have been a number of frustrations, however the Galaxy Tab S8 gave me quite a few causes to imagine that Android tablets aren’t the misplaced trigger that many on the market suppose. The Android pill expertise is surprisingly sturdy in 2022, and I hope issues proceed to enhance within the years to come back. Right here’s how and why I caught with the Galaxy Tab S8 for weeks with out shedding my sanity.
The place the Galaxy Tab S8 shines
There’s lots to love concerning the Galaxy Tab S8, each from a software program and {hardware} perspective. An 11-inch pill would possibly sound too small to function one’s sole workstation, however coming from a ten.5-inch display provided by the Microsoft Floor Go 2, it was nonetheless an improve to me. Plus, the broader facet ratio of the Galaxy Tab S8 ensured that the split-screen view felt extra pure, in contrast to the cramped mess of Floor Go 2’s tall 3:2 display.

The pixel-dense 2560 x 1600 display was a welcome improve, and regardless that it wasn’t as vibrant because the OLED panel on Galaxy Tab S8+, the sharpness and brightness had been nonetheless a lot better. It helps that the Samsung pill is thinner and lighter than its Home windows counterpart and very near the iPad Air 5 on the parameters above.
A wholesome variety of options gave the Galaxy Tab S8 an edge over Home windows machines. For instance, with a number of faucets, it turns right into a pixel-dense secondary show for a PC with none devoted apps or cables. The audio system are balanced and produce a crisp sound, whereas the battery simply helps a day’s value of labor.
With Close by Share, you’ll be able to switch information between your cellphone and pill at a blazing-fast velocity, and 5G connectivity is one other sensible profit over a Home windows PC or Mac. Samsung has additionally assured 4 years of Android OS upgrades and safety updates for 5 years, which is a large bonus for longevity and unparalleled within the Android ecosystem.
Samsung’s software program steals the present
To avoid wasting you the shock of transferring from a desktop UI to a poorly stretched Android cellphone UI on the pill, you get the superb DeX mode. I felt proper at house with the Home windows-like design method. Plus, window resizing in DeX mode is sort of rewarding and fluid. Resizing is easy, and floating home windows are a pleasure to work with.
So far as Chrome goes, the context menu that seems after choosing textual content on Android can pull up net search outcomes and translation in a pop-up view on the identical web page as a substitute of a brand new tab, as is the case whereas utilizing Chrome’s desktop model. It’s a neat benefit, and right here’s the way it kicks into motion:

One UI supercharges the expertise at this level. No matter whether or not you’re in DeX mode, the superb aspect panel enables you to shortly entry your most incessantly used apps with a single swipe gesture. However it may possibly do much more. You may stack GIF creation and screenshot instruments, too. Core duties (alarm, messages, calendar entry, and so forth.), climate data, contacts, clipboard, and reminders are all only a swipe away. It’s deeply customizable as nicely.
There’s additionally no want to recollect shortcuts, in contrast to on PC or Mac. The S Pen fast instructions and air gestures add a complete new dimension of comfort. Plus, the S Pen is among the finest stylus choices you will discover on the market, not simply when it comes to sheer fluidity and low enter latency, however the customizability at its coronary heart can also be noteworthy. When you get used to the mixed tips of edge panel and S Pen shortcuts, it’s arduous going again to the keyboard and mouse system of a PC.
I typically discovered myself tapping the non-touch-sensitive display of my Asus Zephyrus laptop computer each time I returned to it for enjoying video games, and sorely missed the stylus comfort every time I moved away from the Galaxy Tab S8. Sure, it takes a while to get used to the stylus because the enter methodology, however as soon as I obtained used to it, I didn’t really feel the necessity for a mouse or trackpad. I did miss the multi-finger gestures provided by a laptop computer’s trackpad, however the Alt + Tab combo and Android’s navigation bar gestures made up for it.
Window administration on the Galaxy Tab S8 is a rewarding expertise.
Adobe Photoshop Specific proved to be greater than sufficient for my image-editing and retouching wants. I additionally tried Canva alongside a number of different modifying apps, and the Qualcomm chip inside Samsung’s flagship pill dealt with them simply, with none throttling or fan noise. Even with 20 or extra apps working within the background, the Galaxy Tab S8 by no means felt laggy. My Home windows laptop computer with an AMD Ryzen chip and Nvidia graphics stutters after I push Chrome too arduous.
The moment unlock-to-resume expertise on the Samsung pill proved to be one other welcome shock. There’s a motive Intel makes such an enormous deal concerning the “prompt wake” expertise on PCs that include the Evo badge slapped on them. The Galaxy Tab S8 enables you to dive again into your work at once, quicker than even Intel Evo-certified Home windows 11 machines.
Surpassing the PC expertise
In actual fact, there are a number of extra issues that the Galaxy Tab S8 does higher than a Home windows PC. For instance, window administration is far smoother, particularly with the stylus. Plus, you’ll be able to regulate a window’s transparency and all the time preserve it in your view as a substitute of minimizing it. The drag-and-drop gesture for opening the third app from the sting panel in a 2:1:1 view can also be fairly handy.
Edge Panel on the Galaxy Tab S8 is a standout productiveness function.
For all of the M1 would possibly that the iPad has to supply, you don’t get these options on Apple’s tablets, no less than not but. Or Home windows 11 or MacOS, for that matter. I additionally liked the house display widgets, and the flexibility to stack them on the Galaxy Tab S8 was an added bonus. The Galaxy Tab S8’s 12-megapixel selfie digital camera is a lot better than any webcam I’ve seen on any laptop computer on the market.
Plus, the 4K-ready 13MP foremost and 6MP ultrawide digital camera array is a neat addition. Even when you don’t use the cameras to take photographs and movies, AR options like Fast Measure are useful tips you gained’t discover on a Mac or Home windows PC.
Being an Android machine, you get all of the bells and whistles that include Google’s newest OS model — plus a number of further perks courtesy of One UI. The flexibility to reply calls and deal with messages when linked to a Samsung cellphone was additionally an enormous bonus for me, because it stored me from selecting up my cellphone for calls after which getting distracted by Instagram or Twitter notifications.
I did squeeze in a number of classes of Diablo Immortal once in a while, however I did that for analysis functions, I swear!
Widgets — and the flexibility to stack them — are fairly handy.
For my work and educational wants, I didn’t encounter a situation the place I felt kneecapped after switching to the Galaxy Tab S8 as my major computing machine. The place apps didn’t work, I lived with their net consumer. With loads of energy besides, a handy kind issue, and wholesome battery life, the Galaxy Tab S8 actually modified my notion of its means to be a severe computing machine.
Whereas the controversy rages over Apple turning the iPad into a pc, Samsung has already carried out that for me with the Galaxy Tab S8. That’s no small feat, because the expertise was actually an eye-opener. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply the Galaxy Tab S8 will do the identical for everybody.
Android tablets nonetheless aren’t excellent
In fact, there are annoyances, however most must do with the dangerous form of Android app optimization for tablets. Even Google’s core apps, regardless of the corporate’s renewed concentrate on tablets, have a handful of shortcomings. Take Chrome, the spine of my workflow. In comparison with its desktop consumer, the Android model doesn’t allow you to create tab teams. You may’t drag and drop tabs between two Chrome home windows both.
A glitch in Firefox prevents it from loading WhatsApp in a pop-up window view.
The largest limitation was the lack to make use of Chrome extensions, particularly the utilitarian extensions that I can’t dwell with out (equivalent to Grammarly, character counter, Adobe Acrobat, Picture Downloader, and Keepa for checking product value historical past, amongst others). You’re additionally restricted to working as much as 5 Chrome home windows, solely two of which might run in cut up view, whereas the remainder can be utilized within the pop-up view. It’s nonetheless higher than what an iPad can do, however nowhere near a PC expertise.
And this extends to non-Google apps, too. A majority of functions merely run as a stretched-out cellular view and look horrible. Whereas the likes of Slack, Microsoft Groups, and Trello make nice use of the additional display actual property, Asana is downright abysmal. Your only option is to run the online consumer in desktop mode for a much less infuriating expertise.
It’s an enormous Android cellphone, kind of.
For those who’re an influence person, a bunch of industrial quality modifying apps are merely not accessible on Android. Not that you just’d need to do 4K video modifying on an Android pill, however a top-shelf chip just like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 must be pushed, particularly for all the cash it instructions. I did attempt some media-editing apps, however they’re brimming with a frustratingly excessive quantity of adverts, or lack a few of the versatility provided by apps tailor-made for Home windows or Mac.
The Tab S8 isn’t low-cost, but it surely delivers
It’s fairly obvious that turning an Android pill right into a full-blown work pc is an costly endeavor. That’s as a result of high-end Android tablets can solely provide a computer-like expertise when you spend money on the peripherals like folio keyboard instances, and a stylus, if potential. And belief me, regardless of how unintuitive it’d sound, utilizing a stylus actually makes a distinction.
I did miss the comfort of a mouse, particularly the right-click gesture to entry some key functionalities, however when you get used to a succesful stylus – of which there aren’t many except for Samsung’s S Pen – there is no such thing as a coming again. Nonetheless, these equipment don’t come low-cost. Even the fundamental keyboard folio for the Galaxy Tab S8, regardless of missing a trackpad, will value you $140.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, and the machine it changed, the Microsoft Floor Go 2.
Assuming you search the complete laptop computer expertise after shelling out over a thousand {dollars} on the Galaxy Tab S8 Extremely, you’ll must spend one other $350 on its keyboard folio. That’s some huge cash, sufficient to purchase a flowery mechanical keyboard, a Chromebook, a refurbished Home windows laptop computer, and even an Android pill just like the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 that comes with a flagship-tier processor.
However when you can afford the price of turning a glossy OLED pill just like the Galaxy Tab S8+ or its Extremely sibling into your work machine with its personal distinctive set of benefits over a laptop computer or desktop, you gained’t be dissatisfied. Google can also be making an attempt (once more!) to care about Android tablets with some key UI optimizations in Android 12L and Android 13, which instills hope that Android tablets are lastly on the best path.
With some assist from Samsung’s personal consideration to element in One UI, I’m hopeful that Android tablets just like the Galaxy Tab S8 are able to take over your computing wants for each work and leisure. Simply just be sure you undergo a SWOT evaluation earlier than nuking your pockets.

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