When it comes to IT devices or anything else, we all know that options are invariably good. If a laptop notebook PC is all you need to get projects completed, for example, that’s great. However, if your work environment suddenly changes, the laptop may not be optimal after all–in fact, it might become a problem if it turns out you don’t have a place to set it down to work on it and a deadline is looming.
What is especially cool about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which will come out this fall (date is TBD) is that a user has options from which to choose on the fly when working on it. It’s a personal computer that adjusts to your situation, rather than the user having to adjust to the device’s capability.
[To see a larger version of the product image at top left, right-click on it and select “View Image.”]
Because it is a tablet with an attachable, magnetized, full-size keyboard, it can be deployed as if it were a regular laptop or a Microsoft Surface. If and when you suddenly need to hand-hold the device, you can detach the keyboard, and you’re left with a tablet that’s almost as powerful as a standard laptop.
This versatility is especially apparent when you’re on a plane (although that’s not standard in these days of COVID-19). The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is much more useful than a laptop when you’re riding in coach, for example, because you can lose the keyboard and still get a lot of work done just using the tablet form. Even a small 12-inch or 13-inch laptop can be awkward to use on those little folding tables, but the Galaxy 7 Tab fits well into the space and allows more room for your hands.
With a larger, sharper display than its Tab 6 predecessor, a newly engineered S Pen, a larger Type Cover keyboard and 5G functionality, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is clearly a major upgrade over its last-generation relative. But all this great functionality comes at a cost, since the device will be priced at $849.
First impressions of the Tab S7 Plus
Out of the box, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus just feels good in your hands; at 1.1 lbs., it’s not too heavy as if to become a weighty problem if you need to hand-hold it for an extended period of time. The touch screen is responsive and accurate, and the display itself is crisp and colors jump out. The device just works well; even though the previous edition, the Tab 6, also was an excellent device, Samsung simply found a way to improve even upon that highly respected tablet. Personally, though I’ve always liked iPads, I find the Galaxies to be just as user-friendly and efficient–if not more efficient in some areas–than Apple’s competitor.
Here are some pros and cons, right off the top:
- Relatively lightweight at 1.1 lbs.for a tablet with a lot of power
- Exemplary 12.4-inch, 120Hz OLED display
- Camera on long side (top) of display, better for horizontal images
- Full-scale support (low-band and millimeter-wave) for 5G connectivity
- Upgraded S Pen (included)
- Upgraded, full-size Type Cover keyboard (extra cost)
- Wireless headphones only (not included); no headphone jack included
- Relatively expensive at $849
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Specifications
- Power plant: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chip, 6GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 128GB SSD
- Display: 12.4-inch, 2800 x 1752-pixel screen
- Weight: 1.1 pounds
Samsung said that it will make available a second configuration with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD–ostensibly this fall–but no pricing information is yet available.
An analyst’s take
Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy: “It’s a two-horse race in premium tablets, Samsung and Apple. I believe the S7 and S7+ distinguish themselves over the iPad in display quality and productivity through DeX and display capabilities.”
We only had use of the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus for a little more than a week, so we didn’t have the opportunity to do some of the longer-term checks we usually do (take the device on the road, checkout connectivity in different remote situations, take it on a plane, etc.). But the device endeared itself to me immediately. Sometimes you just know a device is going to serve you well, right off the bat. That’s the way I encountered the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus; I just know the longer I have it, the more functionality and features I’m going to discover and use on a regular basis.
Often when you get a new device, you find the bare-necessity functionality you need to get the job done; you find the shortcuts you need to save time and effort, and then off you go on the job, leaving good apps on the table unused. On this tablet, I would enjoy investing more time to see what it really can do.
Bottom line is this: Next time I take a business trip, I’d take this along and leave the laptop home. The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus has worked its way onto the first team the way a good and versatile athlete works his/her way into the starting lineup.
eWEEK is planning to do a more extensive and detailed review of this product when it becomes available for general purchase this fall.