Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Review
It is huge, its a 14.6 inch screen. It also has an included s, pen and specs that could scare the fur off a goat lets test. This thing out hello. My name is brad and i review tag for creative professionals and samsung throws around the name ultra on their big products all the time, but this time it really fits. This tablet is ultra ultra big, ultra powerful ultra draw good e on. There is a lot of ground i need to cover in this review, so dont be offended if i dont bring up your favorite spreadsheet app or talk about how much dex reminds you of your ex girlfriend windows, i review tech from the point of view of a Designer and illustrator, maybe i sprinkle in a little bit of video production in there and for most of those things this tablet really seriously does fit that ultra label. Well, so heres, the too long didnt read version of this video. You want the best android tablet on the market here it is, i recommend it you can stop watching now. If you want the details, lets check them out. The star of this show is the 14.6 inch super amoled, 120 hertz hdr display. It is just beautiful. Absolutely great colors and the screen is large and luxurious split. Screening apps on this is legit useful, really interface. Heavy apps still leave you with plenty of room to move around to draw in the brightness works well in low light, and it does really well in really bright light situations too inside you have the latest snapdragon 8 gen 1 processor and the amount of ram that You get on this thing is depending on which model you get.
I got the base version. This comes with 128 gigabytes of ram. If you dont want to pay more, you can always pop a micro sd card in here to get all of the storage that you need at the lowest configuration your drawing. Apps are going to work great. They are absolutely rock solid on this device. Now, along the back, we have two cameras. One is a wide angle lens and the other one is an ultra wide angle lens. Some reviewers are gon na. Tell you never to take pictures with the tablet, because theyre worried that youre gon na look stupid, but not me, i say: hey, let your freak flag fly. This has great cameras, use them around the front. We also have a dual camera setup. One of those is a wide angle lens and the other one is an ultra wide. These things can shoot up to 4k at 60 frames per second. This is also why samsung decided to include a notch along the top to fit those two cameras. Now i wasnt really sure about the notch at first. My problem with a notch on a tablet is that it says hey. This is the top of the tablet fight a lot of phones, have notches or hole, punch cameras, and that makes sense thats. The top of the phone, a laptop it can get away with a notch thats, the top of the laptop, but a tablet less so its used in different configurations and in portrait i was a little worried that that notch would get in the way i was worried About that, and i was worried that the bevels along the side might be a little too thin and you would end up registering a lot of false touches.
Fortunately, that wasnt the case i never experienced once accidentally turning something on or flipping a page or activating something, because the bezels were too small and the notch never got in the way of anything. I was worried. It might cover up some interface elements and drawing programs that never happened, and in general i stopped noticing it after a few hours underneath the screen, there is a fingerprint reader and it works really. Well, i like the positioning of it, especially when its attached to the keyboard, the stereo speakers i dont talk about sound. I dont know anything about sound, but i know it sounds good and these sound fantastic. There is no reason a tablets. Speakers should sound this good, but they do battery life in general is pretty solid. I wasnt sure what to expect here with a larger screen, youre going to have a larger drag on the battery, but at the same time, with a larger device in general youre going to have more room to pack more battery in there thats pretty much. What we got i started drawing with this thing, around 100 charge after an hour, i was down to about 86 percent battery capacity left when i was using clip studio paint that seemed in line with some of the estimates that i was seeing. Other people getting, which is about seven hours of standard use with this tablet, which i thought was pretty good and over the last few days since ive continued to use it thats, been pretty standard with most of the things ive been doing, whether its just consuming media Or typing up this review on the keyboard, this is a big battery and it does fortunately support fast charging.
If – and this is a big, if you have a fast charger, because there is no charger included in the box – i blame apple im. Not a fan of this, but apple started this when they stopped, including chargers with their iphones now to be fair to apple. They have still included them in their latest versions of their ipads. You can use any usb charger. You have laying around to charge this thing up. It still does come with a cable in order to do that, but chances are is if you have an old, usb charger lying around its, not a fast charger. This is all to say. I think it is worth spending the extra twenty dollars to get a fast charger, so you can get the full experience of using your amazing new tablet: hey look its the s pen and its packed in no extra cost. This is a really good pen, its pretty much the same pen we saw last year, but there is one important upgrade and that is the latency theyve knocked this down to two milliseconds and in general, when i was using it palm rejection seemed better. This varied on an app by app basis when i was in clip studio and artflow, i didnt notice any extra, like marks being left by my palm thats, something that i have always noticed on these tablets. Its never been horrendously bad palm rejection where things start zooming in and out when you dont expect them to, but i was always leaving extra marks when i was drawing on one of these.
Even if i was using a glove in clip studio that never happened. It was great now i was using critic for a time to just sketch around play with some things. It did happen there not a lot, but i was getting some palm marks here and there, so it is going to depend on which app you use as to how well that palm rejection is going to work. Now that latency does sound impressive and when you combine it with 120 hertz refresh rate on the display, it should be imperceptible, and when you pop open samsungs notes app, it was imperceptible. It really shows how good the s pen can be. Now the flip side of that is any of the drawing apps that i was trying. There is perceptible lag there. Now i do want to put an asterisk by this on camera. Lag is always going to look worse than it does when youre just looking at it and using the device live for whatever reason its just easier to perceive on camera. Personally, i never felt like there was so much lag that had ever gotten the way or anything felt slow, but this is all to point out that its not just latency and refresh rate that affects lag its. The main thing is how well optimized the apps are for the platform that theyre running on and here theyre, just only semi optimized. For that now this pen does have a battery, but that battery is not for drawing that batteries.
For some of the extra bluetooth features that they packed in, like it powers the little button thats along the side, some apps use that theres also some motion gestures and things like that samsung added a few years ago. Those get carried over as well. If the pens battery dies, it still works in all of your drawing apps for all of the basic drawing functionality. The pen charges magnetically along this black strip along the back. Since there are magnets in the pen itself, it will stick to a lot of things. It will stick to the side of the tablet, a refrigerator, my favorite ball of tape. I wouldnt store it along the top of the tablet, its not a super strong connection. It will fall off, but just as a nice place, to set your pen when you want to rest it for a few seconds, its really handy. But what is the pen like for drawing its great? It is really good. The lines are smooth pressure. Sensitivity works great. Its exactly what ive come to expect from the s pen over the years, its not a super thick pen, its fairly thin, its fairly light. Some people arent gon na, like that, its not like the best weighted drawing instrument youll ever use, but i found using it for like two or three hours at a time. I was fine and its way more comfortable to use over extended periods time than those tiny little slim pens that they tuck into their phones.
The stylus itself does have a rubber tip and that drags a little bit on the screen that keeps this from sliding all over that smooth glass screen, and it gives you more control. The downside of that is that if you were ever to put a matte screen protector on something like this, it would eat through that soft tip stylus like really fast. If i was gon na change one thing about this pen, i would make the tip wider. It is really tiny and only a small amount of the tip makes contact with the screen, so it doesnt feel quite as stable as many of the other styluses im used to using this came when i was in the middle of working on my wacom cintiq pro 16 review, which is coming out soon hit subscribe, so you dont miss that one and in so many ways these two pens feel so similar, not quite theres, something about the cintiq prose pen that i just like better. It might be that there is texture on that display and the harder plastic tip on the texture just feels more organic than the rubbery tip on that smooth glass, but theres. Something else at play there and i think what it might be is just the surface area that that tip actually touches and drags across, while youre drawing and just the general thickness of it. I think that improves handling but dont. Let this drag it down too much.
This is really just nitpicking, though the s pen is very good. I want to talk about. The second screen features here a little bit samsung rolled these out last year on all their tablets and what it does is it allows you to use your galaxy tab as a second screen for your windows computer when you toggle it on. You can choose what format you want it optimized for whether thats, video or drawing gaming – and i really like that they dont push you in one direction here and that they give you this option on the windows side of things you can set this up to just Mirror your display or to set it up as an extended display and that thats what i ended up doing its also important in these settings to toggle on the pen and the touch settings and that sort of thing on the tablet. So you can use those via windows as well. Now, if you can see yourself using this as like a drawing tablet for windows, its its actually really good, i did not expect it to be this good theres some latency here, but i didnt feel like it was like super distracting to me. It seems like the implementation here is better than what apple has done with sidecar, at least for the drawing experience. Ive used a lot of different apps that do roughly the same thing, whether were talking about astro, pad or duet display on the ipad and the latency.
On this is just flat out better, it just works better its not to say that this completely and totally replaces something like a wacom tablet, the colors arent as crisp theyre, not as punchy, even though the screen can do colors like that, when you stream an image Like this, you are losing something it is getting compressed, and that is definitely noticeable here. As i started to dig in deeper to this, i realized this is its own video, so im going to be doing a full breakdown, because i want to know some things: does it perform just as well on a computer that maybe isnt as powerful as the dell Xps that ive been testing this on. Under what conditions does it start to degrade if i start using it in different drawing apps whats going to happen? If i use apple side car underneath the same conditions, am i going to get similar results to this or are they going to degrade as well all these questions i have so i want to do a deeper dive in this, but overall, if youre thinking hey this Would be a great bonus feature to have to turn a tablet like this into a wacom like experience this? Does that and it does it really well lets talk about the app ecosystem a little bit, because the apps available on android keep getting better samsung themselves have played a role in that they have been helping to bring things like clip studio paint to android a few Years ago, this year, theyre working with the makers of lumafusion, which is a video editing, app thats, rolling out on android later this year and just organically many apps are just starting to come to android, for example, krita, which is an open source, drawing application, fantastic.
Usually for the desktop it rolled out for android almost two years ago, and it is so much more stable now than it was, then they have made great strides and its its really fun to use huion was working on an app. I dont know what happened to that. I went to find it. It was called hui on sketch and in the google play store it wasnt there and the app that i actually downloaded. Was this really bad coloring book app by a different company that stole their name and icon? That is one thing that you have to pay attention to on android that happens far far less on ios theres, a lot of apps out there pretending to be procreate, thats thats one to look for, but in general i feel like android is on so much better Footing now against the ipad in the app department than it was just a few years ago, theres still no procreate, like i mentioned a minute ago, uh the affinity, apps theyre, still not here. Adobe hasnt really paid much attention to android over the last few years. So i i dont know whats going on there, but if you know where to look, there are some really great apps available sometime. I need to do an updated version of this video. I also want to touch a little bit on the keyboard case now. This was free for me as a pre order bonus when i bought it off of samsungs site.
It normally costs 350 dollars which yikes it comes in two chunks, the back, which has a really nice kickstand and has like a little flap on the back, which covers up the s pen and keeps it safe and then the second part is the keyboard attachment which Clicks into the bottom magnetically now this keyboard is a big upgrade over what they were offering for the tab, s7 plus a year and a half ago, thats, not to say its amazing, but last years was so bad. I just forgot all the little details that make a keyboard cover nice. Now they have magnets in it, so the cover doesnt slide around every time. You touch it in general, it doesnt feel cheap and floppy the key travel, the typing experience. All of that seems improved. So, overall, its not bad. These are all welcome improvements. Is this worth 350 dollars? Absolutely not if they sold this for 150, i wouldnt blink an eye, no big deal. The only reason i see this costing this much is because that is exactly what apple charges for their largest keyboard for the ipad pro. I also happen to think that apples, magic keyboard cover is overpriced, but its really stinking good. They completely rethought the way a trackpad works on ipad os to make it better. It has a nice charging port a lot of the side. It feels super premium. The way that it just kind of hangs over the keyboard is really ergonomic.
This to me just feels like an average keyboard cover. There are also some bumps along the way, for example, the keyboard doesnt perfectly fit into the android ecosystem. There was more than one time where i would be typing into a form field on a website or inside an app and id hit enter to kind of go to the next screen and it wouldnt register that enter thing. I had to actually reach up and tap the next button. Some apps are great. I found that using google docs was really good. I ended up typing most of this review on this tablet and a lot of the things i found with the clunkiness here. Wasnt necessarily samsungs fault. It was just stuff that happens on android and is just the user experience there. Now the trackpad, on the other hand, thats definitely samsungs fault. I really dont like this trackpad. The biggest problem here is. It takes a second to turn on it. Actually takes .2 seconds to turn on, so what happens is every few seconds? If you havent used the trackpad, the little cursor just disappears off the screen. I dont really have a problem with that, but every time the cursor disappears off the screen. When you want to re enable it it takes like that fraction of a second of using the trackpad before it shows up again what that leads to. Is you having to scrub on the trackpad every single time you want to use it theres a setting for this, but the lowest that setting goes is .
2 seconds im sure there is a logical reason: why samsung does it this way, but at the end of the Day its really frustrating i was hoping this was one of those things i would get used to, but the more i used it, the more it annoyed me. The other thing i want to mention isnt, really a big deal, but the keyboard cover doesnt fold. All the way back it kind of does, but what it ends up doing is it ends up popping off when you try to do that. So if you ever want to draw on it and use it in tablet mode just expect to be taking off the keyboard before you use it. That way, so overall nice to see some improvements here, but i think its way too expensive and i expected more all right. So in conclusion, this tablet fits the description of ultra its not for everybody, its bigger its heavier than other tablets, especially with the keyboard attached. If youre, looking for something that you can just casually draw on on the go, its probably a little bit too big for that, i think really. The key audience is someone who wants a laptop replacement, or at least the best laptop replacement that android can provide. I think this does this, and it does it extremely well and in general, a lot of the concerns that i was worried about going into this in practice. Didnt bother me at all the notch.
I forgot it was there the smaller bezels wasnt a problem. Palm rejection was really good. The aspect ratio for the most part wasnt a problem. It wasnt a problem when i was drawing when i was consuming content the size and the aspect ratio are a little bit weird. You know twitter, doesnt, look great facebook doesnt look great, but you know you get used to it. One thing you might expect me to list is a con. I dont think im going to add to that category, and that is the price. It seems expensive if you just look at the price, but when you look at everything youre getting here the quality of every little thing across the board, whether were talking about the screen or the speakers or the drawing experience are phenomenal and at that price point i Dont think its that bad samsung does tend to lower the price of things over time. I think the keyboard accessory is a little overpriced. Hopefully, someone releases something better in the future, but in general i think its a decent value for the price. I dont have anything bad to say about this tablet, not for everybody, but it might be for you. What do you think, let me know down below in the comments? Thank you all for watching ill talk to you.