Samsung is pushing Android tablets further than ever with its 11-inch Galaxy Tab S7 and 12.4-inch Galaxy Tab S7+. The new devices, which cost $650 and $850 respectively, are the first tablets with smooth 120 Hz displays and 5G compatibility. They also come with a free S Pen stylus—yay!
Like last year’s Tab S6, the new Tab S7 and S7+ are media-consumption devices with some productivity features. They work with an optional magnetic keyboard case ($199.99 for the S7 keyboard, $229.99 for the S7+) and come with a stylus for taking notes. Connecting a keyboard case brings you a desktop-like experience with the Samsung DeX interface, which may appeal to students who need a laptop for class and a tablet for fun. And Samsung says that the Tab S7 can double as a Windows display after a software update later this year.
Still, these are mostly entertainment machines. The Tab S7 and S7+ have smooth 120 Hz displays with a cinematic 16:10 aspect ratio. And while the S7 is stuck with an old LCD panel, the larger S7 sports an OLED display for crisp blacks and intense color accuracy. With a cinematic 16:10 aspect ratio and a quad-speaker array with Dolby Atmos tuning, you’re sure to spend most of your time watching movies and playing games on the Tab S7 and S7+.
Did you say games? Samsung really wants you to use Microsoft’s game streaming service, Xbox Game Pass, on the Tab S7 and S7+. Game Pass streams AAA games directly to your phone or tablet, so you can play games Destiny 2 without buying a game console or gaming PC. If you shell out for a 5G Tab S7, you can play AAA games from anywhere.
The Tab S7 and S7+ use top of the line internals for impeccable app performance and 5G networking. Both have a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, 6 or 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage (with expandable microSD storage). They also support super fast 45-watt charging via USB-C.
But are you willing to spend $650+ on an Android tablet? Samsung’s includes an S Pen in the box, which is worth something, but you still have to pay extra for 5G and a keyboard case. The Tab S7 costs about as much as the Microsoft Surface tablet or an Apple iPad Pro—two devices that have more internal horsepower than the new Tab S7 and S7+.
Of course, Microsoft and Apple tablets don’t have 120Hz OLED displays or 5G capabilities, and the iPad still doesn’t support game streaming through services like Xbox Game Pass and Stadia. The Tab S7 and S7+ are unique tablets that may be better for gaming and entertainment than the competition.