The Tab S7 Plus isn’t your usual big screen device, it falls in the tablets that aim to replace laptops segment, which also includes the iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface tablets
As far as tablets go, the buck usually stops with Apple’s iPads in India. While Microsoft has an alternative in the Surface tablets, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is the only real Android alternative. And though it’s a powerful and feature rich tablet, Samsung’s efforts are hindered by the fact that Android’s tablet ecosystem is not really rich.
The Tab S7 Plus isn’t your usual big screen device, it falls in the tablets that aim to replace laptops segment, which also includes the iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface tablets. It matches those in design, being an almost exact replica of the iPad Pro. And like Microsoft and Apple, Samsung doesn’t bundle the keyboard accessory in the box either, meaning you’ll have to spend an additional Rs. 17,999 for the keyboard case. The good news is that the S-Pen, which is Samsung’s alternative for the Apple Pencil and Surface Pen, is included in the Galaxy Tab’s Rs. 79,999 pricing (for the LTE version).
The Tab S7 Plus also has one of the best displays you can get on a tablet today. It’s a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED panel, which gives you the punchy colours that Samsung devices have come to be known for. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes the interface and transitioning between apps smooth and fast.
Basically, Samsung knew it couldn’t do much to tackle Android’s software issues on tablets, so it took care of hardware as best as it could. The Tab S7 Plus runs the Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, which is Qualcomm’s fastest. Having been a regular iPad Pro user, I can attest to the fact that performance isn’t going to be the issue here. The S-Pen feels natural and easy to use too, which is not surprising given that Samsung has years or more experience, as compared to Apple and Microsoft.
But as good as Samsung’s hardware is, it all somewhat breaks when you realise that the keyboard case isn’t included in the box. The Tab S7 Plus’ keyboard has a touchpad built in and it even supports some finger gestures, which make it more like a Windows or Mac laptop. Not bundling the keyboard is a decision Apple and Microsoft take too though, so you can’t really fault Samsung alone.
For the most part, the keyboard here is just as good as the Magic Keyboard Apple makes or Microsoft’s Typecover cases. Key feedback and spacing are almost perfect, which keeps the learning curve for typists in check. That said, the touchpad’s palm recognition is wonky, so you might end up making a few wrong clicks at times. And the fact that it’s not backlit is something many won’t like.
Now that covers the hardware side of things, the software is where Samsung’s problems are with this tablet. But unlike other tablet makers, who would just succumb to Android’s limitations, Samsung’s Dex software actually fixes a lot of Android’s issues. For instance, it can force most apps to open in full screen, you can have multiple windows open and more.
However, this is all work Samsung has done, meaning it requires developers to support that. For instance, the Pocket app (a popular read-it-later) tool doesn’t support Dex’s resizing. You can force it to resize, but it crashes a few times. While many apps will crash, others will look stretched out. Amazon and Twitter are great examples of the latter.
That said, you have to give Samsung the credit for solving an issue most haven’t been able to. Dex alone is enough to make this the best Android tablet you can buy. If developers support it enough, Samsung may actually be able to solve Android’s software troubles single-handedly. For now, Samsung has all of its own apps, Microsoft’s Office suite and Google apps covered, which should be enough for many users.
But being able to edit spreadsheets and write up documents isn’t really enough for a tablet that costs nearly a lakh, is it?