The pen feels like an ordinary pen but with a rubbery surface that makes it very comfortable and natural to hold.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is one of the best Android tablets to date, writes Izwan Ismail


THE recent news on the possibility of notebook computers being banned on flights for safety reasons has caused much stress among flyers, especially business travellers.

However, worry not as new technologies in tablet computers, with the assistance of peripherals like portable Bluetooth keyboard, stylus pen and all the fantastic apps have made using this device similar to a notebook computer.

One of the latest tablets in the market is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.

While the use of tablets is normally more associated with entertainment, or light usage, the Galaxy Tab S3 is designed for not just superior video and gaming experiences along with versatile usage as a productivity tool.


FIRST IMPRESSION

I’m very impressed with the design and look of the Galaxy Tab S3.

Samsung has successfully designed the device like its flagship Galaxy S phones.

The thin all-glass body, rounded edges, and crisp and vibrant screen gives this tablet a classy look.

It’s like the Samsung Galaxy S8 phone in a much bigger form.

The Galaxy Tab S3 comes with a 9.7-inch Super Amoled display with 2,048x1,536-pixel resolution.

The tablet comes bundled with a redesigned Samsung S-Pen stylus, which is designed for people who like to express their creativity.

There is also a pairing keyboard, but it is sold separately.

However, the review unit comes with the optional keyboard.


ENTERTAINMENT

The high resolution screen that comes with the tablet means it is optimised for entertainment.

I can say that the screen is just fantastic and a joy to watch.

With its 4K video playback and stunning Super Amoled display, watching movies and other super high resolution content is just mind-blowing.

With the support for HDR (High Dynamic Range) video content, the Galaxy Tab S3 offers true-to-life colours and vivid digital content.

The content looked very contrasty, crisp and realistic.

In addition to the fantastic screen display performance, the Galaxy Tab S3 is also the first Samsung tablet to feature quad-stereo speakers tuned by AKG by Harman for premium visual and listening experiences.

Tuned by AKG means the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and the in-box earphones produce a very balanced and natural sound with superb dynamic range and exceptional accuracy.

I can says that the tablet is among the best-sounding devices in its class today. The earphones offer the most balanced, natural sound possible.

Both devices are tuned to provide a truly superior listening experience.

The Tab four speakers, one at each corner of the device, produce loud, but solid and clear sound.

Samsung says that quad-speaker system has sound coming from each corner, automatically following the direction mode of the screen.

So you’ll hear every note whether you hold it horizontal or vertical.


FOR CREATIVE INDIVIDUALS

The redesigned S Pen is a joy to use, and it can bring out the creativity in the user.

The pen feels like an ordinary pen but with a rubbery surface that makes it very comfortable and natural to hold.

Writing or drawing feels like you’re doing it on a piece of paper with a real pen or pencil. It gives that natural feel with the increased pressure sensitivity, which means the boldness or thinness of the writing or drawing depends of the pressure you put on the pen.

For a natural writing experience, the S Pen also has a smaller 0.7mm tip.

Besides that, it also includes convenient features such as Screen Off Memo to quickly jot down notes, PDF Annotation for easy editing and professional-level drawing with Advanced Drawing Tools.


KEYBOARD

Although the Galaxy Tab S3 Book Cover keyboard is optional, I feel that it’s a must have if you want it to be your notebook replacement.

The keys look a bit small, but if you compare them side by side to the standard keys on the normal keyboard, they are just about 10 per cent smaller, which I think is still acceptable for fast typing work.

I find it very easy to use and I particularly like the tactile feel and sound, and typing using it feels natural, albeit slightly smaller.

The keyboard comes with intuitive POGO pin connectors to simplify the setup.

While in keyboard mode, you can also use both keyboard and the touchscreen.


OTHER FEATURES

The Samsung’s legacy of innovative Galaxy technology including a 13-megapixel rear camera which includes auto focus and a 5-megapixel front camera for high-quality photos continues with the Galaxy Tab S3.

The tablet also includes expandable storage (microSD up to 256GB) and more power efficiency with fast-charge capabilities, supporting up to 12 hours of video playback on the Galaxy Tab S3.


CONCLUSION

The Galaxy Tab S3 is available at RM2,999 and the optional keyboard is priced at RM499. Is it a worthy buy? It depends on what you want to use it for. If you plan to use it as both your entertainment and productivity/creative use, the S Pen and the keyboard will give you more than what a typical notebook computer can do.

And remember that tablet comes with apps marketplace like smartphones, and this will add more value for the things that you want to do.

OUR VERDICT: 4/5

DESIGN: 5/5

PERFORMANCE: 4/5

USER FRIENDLINESS: 4/5

VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

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